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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2001 Jul;189(7):457-62.

Neurocognitive correlates of helplessness, hopelessness, and well-being in schizophrenia.

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Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.


Persons with schizophrenia are widely recognized to experience potent feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and a fragile sense of well-being. Although these subjective experiences have been linked to positive symptoms, little is known about their relationship to neurocognition. Accordingly, this study examined the relationship of self-reports of hope, self-efficacy, and well-being to measures of neurocognition, symptoms, and coping among 49 persons with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Results suggest that poorer executive function, verbal memory, and a greater reliance on escape avoidance as a coping mechanism predicted significantly higher levels of hope and well being with multiple regressions accounting for 34% and 20% of the variance (p < .0001), respectively. Self-efficacy predicted lower levels of positive symptoms and greater preference for escape avoidance as a coping mechanism with a multiple repression accounting for 9% of the variance (p < .05). Results may suggest that higher levels of neurocognitive impairment and an avoidant coping style may shield some with schizophrenia from painful subjective experiences. Theoretical and practical implications for rehabilitation are discussed.

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