Social Anhedonia as a Predictor of the Development of Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders

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Abstract

College undergraduates (n = 34) identified by deviant scores (at least 1.96 SD above the mean) on the Revised Social Anhedonia (SocAnh) Scale (M. Eckblad, L. J. Chapman, J. P. Chapman, & M. Mishlove, 1982) were compared with control participants (n = 139) at an initial assessment and at a 10-year follow-up evaluation. Twenty-four percent of the SocAnh group were diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders at the follow-up compared with only 1% of the control group, despite the fact that there had been no such difference between the groups at the initial assessment 10 years earlier. The SocAnh group exceeded the control group on severity of psychotic-like experiences and had poorer overall adjustment at the follow-up but not at the initial assessment. The groups did not differ on mood symptoms or substance-use disorders. Thus, the SocAnh Scale, unlike the Perceptual Aberration and Magical Ideation Scales, appears to identify individuals at specific risk for future development of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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