Predicting Schizophrenic Outpatients' Behavior by Symptomatology and Social Skills

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Though social skills have been identified as an independent construct, recent studies have revealed that schizophrenic symptomatology and social skills are interrelated. The nature and extent of this relationship, however, are far from clear. To address this issue, we examined 33 schizophrenic outpatients participating in a rehabilitation program for an average of 10 months. The object of this study was to investigate to what extent behavior can be predicted by symptomatology and social skills, and whether social skills have a significant effect on outpatients' behavior independently of schizophrenic symptoms and vice versa. Regression analyses revealed good prediction of outpatients' behavior by conceptual disorganization and disorder of relating from the PANSS and, to a lesser degree, social skills. After having eliminated the influence of psychopathology on social skills and behavior, social skills variables still had significant predictive value for social competence, social interest, and irritability. These findings imply specific contributions of both symptomatology and social skills to future behavior of chronic schizophrenic outpatients.

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