The Relationship Between Premorbid Adjustment and Emotional Intelligence in First Episode Schizophrenia

Poster A58, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Miranda Bridgwater1, Leslie Horton1, Gretchen Haas1,2,3; 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 3VISN4 MIRECC at VA Pittsburgh Health Care System

Research shows that individuals with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in emotional intelligence (EI), which may impair social functioning. This study addresses the relationship between indicators of social maladjustment during childhood and early adolescence and later deficits in EI observed in first-episode schizophrenia. This study included 119 participants from the NIMH Conte Center studies of first-episode schizophrenia (ages 14-40): 40 who met DSM-IV criteria for a first episode of schizophrenia (SZ), 22 with another psychotic disorder (OP), and 57 age-and-sex matched healthy controls (HC). After baseline diagnostic and symptom assessment interviews, the Cannon-Spoor Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS) and the Managing Emotions Scale of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; an index of EI) were administered. Those with SZ had the lowest EI scores on the MSCEIT, scoring lower (p<.05) than the HC participants. OP subjects scored mid-way between the SZ and HC groups, although not significantly different from either SZ or HC. PAS scores reflecting maladjustment (i.e. higher scores) during childhood and early adolescence were negatively associated with MSCEIT scores for all subjects combined (p<.001) and the SZ group alone (p<.05), but not for the OP or HC groups. Individuals experiencing a first episode of schizophrenia scored worse than mentally healthy individuals on a measure of EI. Poor scores on the managing emotions scale of the MSCEIT were associated with poor childhood and early adolescent adjustment among individuals with SZ. Findings from this study suggest that premorbid social maladjustment may predict deficits in EI in the first episode of schizophrenia.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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