August 03, 2005

Negative Symptoms Contribute to Social Phobia

A correlation has been found between the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and social phobia. The relationship between these two was investigated with the help of 60 participants who were currently experiencing their first episode of psychosis. "The researchers explored whether the participants would have any maladaptive or irrational beliefs regarding social situations." Their social phobia level was measured with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, The Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI), the Social Functioning Scale, the Quality of Life Scale, and the Social Interaction Self-Statement Test. Of the participants, 32% had social phobia, and about 60% were having heightened levels of social anxiety. The average SPAI score (Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory) was 69.57.

This study exemplified that depression and negative symptoms have a link to high levels of social anxiety. Negative symptoms solely (not depression) was associated with poor social function. Social anxiety and poor social functioning was correlated with a high rating on negative self-statements.

"The researchers note, however, that while negative symptoms contributed 22% to the variance in social functioning and negative self-statements contributed a further 5%, social anxiety did not additionally influence such functioning. They suggest that negative self-statements generate negative affect and feelings of anxiety that interfere with patients' ability to focus on the content of the social interaction, which in turn impedes their performance" (PsychiatryMatters.MD, 2005).

The researchers involved in this study cited the fact that group cognitive-behavioral treatment has been effective in decreasing symptoms of social phobia in those suffering from chronic schizophrenia; therefore more research should be done to discover what kind of interventions are necessary to alleviate social anxiety in this group.

The abstract of this article can be found at: Schizophr Res 2005; 76: 287-292

Original source: "Negative symptoms contribute to social phobia in schizophrenia patients". PsychiatryMatters.MD, 2005.

Posted by christine at August 3, 2005 02:47 PM

More Information on Schizophrenia Symptoms


I do agree with negative symptoms correlate with social phobia.

Posted by: Kang Siew Ling at January 11, 2007 01:03 AM

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