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109. Defeatist beliefs, Coping Styles, and Schizotypy in Adolescents
Defeatist beliefs (DB) involve global underestimation of one’s ability to successfully navigate social interactions and perform goal-directed behavior. Greater levels of DB act as a mediating variable between cognitive impairment, negative symptomology, and functional impairment in adults with schizophrenia. DB feeds a downward spiral where pre-existing limitations in functional capacity influence DB, which exacerbates avolition and amotivation, which exacerbates real-world functioning impairment (Horan et. al., 2010). However, little is known about the relationship between DB and indicators of psychosis-risk (i.e., schizotypy) in adolescence and young adulthood. The current study sought to examine this relationship in samples of 75 high school students and 270 college students from NY and NJ, respectively. We anticipated that stronger DB would predict higher levels of schizotypy in both groups. Preliminary analyses suggested that there were no mean-score differences between our samples on levels of schizotypy or defeatist believes. Thus, the decision was made to combine samples for our main analyses. Regression analyses suggested that levels of DB were predictive of schizotypy in adolescents. These findings mirror those of adult populations (Campellone et. al., 2016) and are important in better understanding potential risk factors which influence onset of and impairment in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.