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Differential Associations of Positive, Negative, and Disorganized Schizotypy with Interview Measures of Symptoms and Impairment
Schizotypy provides a useful and unifying construct for understanding schizophrenia-spectrum psychopathology. We examined the associations of positive, negative, and disorganized schizotypy with interview ratings of symptoms and impairment in a large, non-clinically ascertained sample of young adults (n= 177). Participants completed the Multidimensional Schizotypy Scale (MSS) and an interview assessing prodromal symptoms, schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorders, mood disorders, and substance use. As hypothesized, positive schizotypy was associated with interview ratings of positive (psychotic-like) symptoms, and schizotypal and paranoid personality disorder traits. Negative schizotypy was associated with interview ratings of negative symptoms and schizotypal and schizoid personality disorder traits, as well as elevated rates of schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorders. Disorganized schizotypy was associated with interview ratings of disorganized symptoms and attentional deficits, as well as major depressive episodes. All three schizotypy dimensions were associated with impaired functioning. The present study was the first to evaluate the validity of the MSS using interview measures, which provide a gold standard for assessing schizotypic symptoms, and the first interview study to assess all three schizotypy dimensions simultaneously. The findings indicate that the schizotypy dimensions are associated with unique patterns of symptoms and impairment, and support the validity of the MSS as a measure of multidimensional schizotypy.