Social anhedonia and schizotypy: the contribution of individual differences in affective traits, stress, and coping

Psychiatry Res. 2007 Jan 15;149(1-3):147-56. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2006.06.002. Epub 2006 Nov 15.


While social anhedonia is a promising indicator of vulnerability to schizophrenia, it remains uncertain whether anhedonia is a core feature of schizotypy or merely a secondary associated characteristic. This issue was examined by comparing dimensional scores on schizophrenia spectrum personality disorder symptoms derived from clinical interviews among three groups: a) "pure" social anhedonics with high scores on the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale (SAS; [Eckblad, M.L., Chapman, L.J., Chapman, J.P., Mishlove, M., 1982. The Revised Social Anhedonia Scale. Unpublished test, University of Wisconsin, Madison.]) and low scores on the Magical Ideation Scale (MIS, [Eckblad, M.L., Chapman, L.J., 1983. Magical ideation as an indicator of schizotypy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51, 215-225.]), b) subjects with high MIS and low SAS scores, and c) controls with low scores on both scales. This study also sought to identify individual differences in stress reactivity, personality, coping style, and social support that might be related to severity of clinical symptoms among at-risk subjects. Compared to controls, the SAS group had higher levels of schizotypal, schizoid, and paranoid symptoms and the MIS group had higher schizotypal symptoms. Among social anhedonics, individual differences in perceived stress, trait negative affectivity, and coping style accounted for over 40% of the variance in schizotypal and paranoid symptoms. This cross-sectional study bolsters support for the validity of social anhedonia as a primary feature of schizotypy. Longitudinal studies are required to determine whether these individual differences potentiate clinical outcomes among social anhedonics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires