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Schizophr Res. 1998 Feb 27;30(1):1-9.

The New York High-Risk Project: attention, anhedonia and social outcome.

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Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.


In the New York High-Risk Project we have followed two samples of subjects (Sample A and Sample B) at risk for schizophrenic or affective disorders and low-risk controls from childhood to adulthood, in an attempt to identify early predictors of later psychopathology. We administered a large number of cognitive, psychometric and other types of measures to both samples as possible psychopathology predictors, including an index of attentional deviance assessed in childhood, the Physical Anhedonia Scale in adolescence, and three measures of social outcome in adulthood ('Suspicious Solitude', 'Social Insecurity', and 'Lack of Empathy'), derived from the Personality Disorders Examination. In the analysis of the combined samples, parental diagnostic group, gender, attentional deviance in childhood, and physical anhedonia in adolescence were used to predict three measures of social outcome in adulthood. While only physical anhedonia was directly related to all three social outcome measures, with the strongest relationship to Suspicious Solitude, attention deviance successfully predicted two of the three outcomes. Subjects at risk for affective disorder did not show increased levels of attention deviance, physical anhedonia, or social dysfunction, relative to the normal control subjects. Attention deviance appears to be a key neurobiological indicator and physical anhedonia appears to be a potentiating factor mediating the relationship between risk for schizophrenia and later social dysfunction.

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