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Psychiatry Res. 2017 Sep;255:412-417. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.076. Epub 2017 Jun 24.

Using lexical analysis to identify emotional distress in psychometric schizotypy.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, United States. Electronic address: samabp@bu.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States.
3
Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, United States.
4
Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, United States.

Abstract

Through the use of lexical analysis software, researchers have demonstrated a greater frequency of negative affect word use in those with schizophrenia and schizotypy compared to the general population. In addition, those with schizotypy endorse greater emotional distress than healthy controls. In this study, our aim was to expand on previous findings in schizotypy to determine whether negative affect word use could be linked to emotional distress. Schizotypy (n=33) and non-schizotypy groups (n=33) completed an open-ended, semi-structured interview and negative affect word use was analyzed using a validated lexical analysis instrument. Emotional distress was assessed using subjective questionnaires of depression and psychological quality of life (QOL). When groups were compared, those with schizotypy used significantly more negative affect words; endorsed greater depression; and reported lower QOL. Within schizotypy, a trend level association between depression and negative affect word use was observed; QOL and negative affect word use showed a significant inverse association. Our findings offer preliminary evidence of the potential effectiveness of lexical analysis as an objective, behavior-based method for identifying emotional distress throughout the schizophrenia-spectrum. Utilizing lexical analysis in schizotypy offers promise for providing researchers with an assessment capable of objectively detecting emotional distress.

KEYWORDS:

Affect; Depression; Diagnostic tool; Psychosis; Quality of life; Schizophrenia

PMID:
28667929
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.076
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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