September 12, 2005

University Education Linked to Non-Developmental Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping

A new research study suggests that having a university education has been linked to having less neurodevelopmental impairment in patients with schizophrenia. The case notes of 46 schizophrenia patients that were university educated (UE), and 48 non-university educated (NUE) schizophrenia patients was examined for this study.

"Univariate analyses revealed that of the four principal components that emerged - mania, biological depression, schizophrenic symptoms, and a reactive depression - UE patients scored significantly higher than NUE patients on the reactive depression and significantly lower on the schizophrenic symptoms" (PsychiatryMatters.MD).

The higher levels of depression may be due to the fact that those in the UE group had a better grasp of the fact that they were suffering from an illness. They also might have more of a loss in social and occupational functioning once they develop schizophrenia, compared to those in the NUE group. Those in the NUE group were found to have more severe and chronic cases of schizophrenia.

Researchers believe that those with a university education might be "more fully engaged in society" which leads to a greater fall once they develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. The Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness (OPCRIT) was used to determine that 16 of those in the UE group had "definite psychosocial stressor prior to onset" whereas only 2 in the NUE group did.

Original Source: University education as a marker of non-developmental schizophrenia. PsychiatryMatters.MD.

This research article was published in Psychol Med 2002; 32: 535–544


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