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J Abnorm Psychol. 2005 May;114(2):269-78.

Cognitive impairments and disordered speech in schizophrenia: thought disorder, disorganization, and communication failure perspectives.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.


This article posits that basic cognitive impairments in schizophrenia are more highly related to speech disorder measured as communication failures than speech disorder measured as thought disorder or disorganization. The author tested 47 schizophrenia patients and 36 control participants for sustained attention, sequencing, and conceptual sequencing ability. Their speech was also rated for communication failures, thought disorder, and conceptual disorganization. Attention and sequencing impairments, examined hierarchically, explained a substantial 38% of the variance in the communication measure of speech disorder but little of the variance in formal thought disorder or conceptual disorganization. The author concludes that (a) impairments in attention and sequencing abilities contribute substantially to schizophrenic communication failures, and (b) it is important to consider lower level cognitive "3rd variables" when examining higher level cognitive associates of speech disorder.

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