Negative Performance Beliefs and Negative Symptoms in Individuals at Ultra-High Risk of Psychosis: A Preliminary Study

Psychopathology. 2009;42(6):375-9. doi: 10.1159/000236909. Epub 2009 Sep 15.


Background: Negative beliefs regarding task performance have been shown to correlate with negative symptom severity in patients with chronic schizophrenia. We conducted a pilot study to determine whether the association also exists in individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis.

Sampling and methods: The sample consisted of 38 individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis and 51 controls. All participants completed the Abbreviated Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale; the ultra-high-risk participants were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale.

Results: High-risk participants endorsed negative performance beliefs to a greater extent than controls and these beliefs were associated with greater negative symptom severity, independent of depression and positive symptoms.

Conclusions: The findings are consistent with previous results in chronic patients, and suggest that negative performance beliefs may be a promising psychological factor worthy of further attention in individuals at high risk of psychosis. Longitudinal research with more comprehensive assessment is needed to elucidate the potential role of negative performance beliefs in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Self-Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires