For Some with Psychosis, Negative Beliefs Limit Social Life

Posted on September 21, 2010
Why do people with schizophrenia often isolate themselves from others, even though they say they want a full social life - friends, a job, perhaps even a family of their own?  A recent study, published in Psychiatry Research, indicates that negative beliefs about a social life seem to be the biggest deterrent to achieving it.

Paul Grant, Ph.D., and Aaron Beck, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania studied 123 adults who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Various scales were used to evaluate a number of the subjects’ characteristics, including social functioning, emotion perception, positive and negative symptoms, and negative beliefs about social functioning.

Psychiatric News reports, “Putting all these results together, it looks as if negative beliefs about a social life may be a major reason why people with schizophrenia don’t relish social interactions, the researchers concluded. ‘We propose that the patients’ asocial beliefs trump their need for social acceptance,’ they wrote."

“…[W]ould certain interventions help individuals with schizophrenia change their beliefs and this improve the social lives? The researchers think that they might.”

Read full article in Psychiatric News.

Read abstract of "Asocial Beliefs as Predictors of Asocial Behavior in Schizophrenia," published in Psychiatry Research.  


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