The Relationship Between Schizotypy and Reactive Aggression in Western Adults Is Mediated by Victimization


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Abstract

A large body of literature suggests that schizophrenia and nonclinical schizotypal personality traits, or “schizotypy,” are associated with increased aggression. However, recent studies focused on school-aged Asian samples have examined the relationship between schizotypal personality and 2 distinct forms of aggression: reactive and proactive aggression. This study aimed to investigate whether schizotypal personality traits would be associated more strongly with reactive, compared with proactive, aggression in an adult Western sample and whether victimization experiences mediated the schizotypy-reactive aggression relation. One hundred twenty-one Australian university undergraduates completed self-report inventories measuring levels of schizotypal personality, reactive and proactive aggression, and victimization. Results showed that, as hypothesized, schizotypal personality traits were more strongly associated with reactive than proactive aggression and that victimization experiences mediated the schizotypy-reactive aggression relationship. While acknowledging the limitations of nonclinical schizotypy research, the findings are discussed with regard to possible implications for the treatment of aggression in schizophrenia.

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