Lower negative symptom scores among cannabis-dependent patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders: preliminary evidence from an African American first-episode sample

Schizophr Res. 2004 Nov 1;71(1):61-4. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2004.01.005.


Substance use disorders, especially cannabis abuse and dependence, are common comorbid diagnoses among patients in the early course of schizophrenia. Some prior research suggests that individuals with schizophrenia and related disorders and comorbid substance abuse may have fewer negative symptoms than those without substance abuse. This pilot study examined the association between cannabis dependence and negative symptoms in a relatively homogenous sample of 18 African American first-episode, first-hospitalization patients. Those with cannabis dependence had significantly lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) negative subscale scores compared to those without cannabis dependence (p<0.012). The two groups did not differ on PANSS positive and general psychopathology subscale scores. Additional research is needed on the correlates of substance abuse among first-episode patients, including socially disadvantaged African American patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse / ethnology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / ethnology*
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires