The relationship between post-traumatic symptom severity and object relations deficits in persons with schizophrenia

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Abstract

Objective.

The aim of this study was to determine if object relations deficits in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (i.e., schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder) are related to co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Design.

Cross-sectional and correlational.

Method.

Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, and Bell Object Relations Inventory were administered to 60 people with schizophrenia in an outpatient setting. With four hierarchical regressions, we hypothesized that, controlling for schizophrenia symptoms, diagnosis type, and potential demographic features, PTSD symptoms would correlate with each of the four types of object relations deficits.

Results.

All participants reported experiencing at least one traumatic experience. As predicted, PTSD symptoms were a significant predictor of alienation, insecure attachment, and egocentricity controlling for schizophrenia symptoms, diagnosis type, and demographic features. Against prediction, PTSD was not associated with Social Incompetence.

Conclusion.

If PTSD symptoms contribute to object relations deficits in persons with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, then interventions such as psychotherapy need to be developed to address PTSD symptoms in the treatment of these interpersonal deficits.

Practitioner points.

Clinical implications

Practitioner points.

Limitations

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