Empathy, social functioning and schizotypy

Bailey, Phoebe E., Henry, Julie D. and Rendell, Peter G. (2008) Empathy, social functioning and schizotypy. Psychiatry Research, 160 1: 15-22. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2007.04.014

Author Bailey, Phoebe E.
Henry, Julie D.
Rendell, Peter G.
Title Empathy, social functioning and schizotypy
Journal name Psychiatry Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-1781
Publication date 2008
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.04.014
Volume 160
Issue 1
Start page 15
End page 22
Total pages 8
Place of publication Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland Ltd
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Whilst affective empathy is concerned with one's emotional response to the affective state of another, cognitive empathy refers to one's understanding of another's mental state, and deficits in both are believed to contribute to the social behavioral abnormalities associated with schizophrenia. The present study aimed to test whether individual differences in normally distributed schizotypal personality traits are related to cognitive and affective empathy, and whether any observed association between schizotypy and empathy mediates the relationship between schizotypy and (reduced) social functioning. Non-clinical volunteers (N=223) completed measures of schizotypal personality, cognitive and affective empathy, social functioning and negative affect. The results indicated that higher schizotypy was associated with reduced empathy, poorer social functioning and increased negative affect. Of the specific schizotypal dimensions (positive, negative and disorganized), only negative schizotypy was significantly associated with social functioning, and this relationship persisted even after controlling for negative affect. Further, affective empathy functioned as a partial mediator in this relationship. These data show that the relationship between negative schizotypy and social functioning is at least partially attributable to deficits in affective empathy.
Keyword Schizophrenia liability
Affective empathy
Socioemotional functioning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Tue, 19 Apr 2011, 15:47:32 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology