Role of the self in schizophrenia: A multidimensional examination of short-term outcomes

Dafna Weinberg, Golan Shahar, Gal Noyman, Larry Davidson, Thomas H. McGlashan, Shmuel Fennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The manifestation, course, and prognosis of schizophrenia are extremely variable, raising an interest in the role of personality and self-concept in the illness' outcome. Building on voluminous research attesting to the fragility and instability of the self in schizophrenia, we examined the role of four self-concept aspects- self-esteem level, self-esteem instability, self-concept clarity, and the perception of the self as ill-in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Eighty-nine outpatients were assessed at baseline, and five days subsequently, regarding these self-concept aspects, symptoms, stress, and quality of life. Six weeks later, participants were again assessed using the baseline battery. Self-esteem instability predicted a decrease in quality of life over the study period. Self-concept clarity predicted an increase in quality of life and in positive symptoms, particularly under low stress. Depressive symptoms predicted a decrease in self-esteem levels and an increase in the perception of the self as ill. Thus, all four self-concept aspects were shown to be pertinent to the experience of schizophrenia, albeit in different ways. Special attention should be directed to self-concept clarity, which embeds both risk and resilience.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)285-297
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry (New York)
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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