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Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
Pages 225 — 232

Abstract - Attributional style and symptoms as predictors of social function in schizophrenia

Paul H. Lysaker, PhD; Rebecca S. Lancaster, MS; Michael A. Nees, BA; Louanne W. Davis, PsyD

Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Abstract — While the attributions of people with schizophrenia have been hypothesized to play a role in determining social behavior, contradictory predictions can be made about exactly what type of attributions contribute to social dysfunction. One possibility is that attributing undesirable events to internal, stable, and global factors might lead to poorer social function. An alternate possibility is that attributing events in general to internal, stable, and global factors might lead to better social function. As a test of these hypotheses, 40 participants in a post-acute phase of schizophrenia were administered the Attributional Style Questionnaire, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and the Quality of Life Scale. Stepwise multiple regressions controlling for age and education indicated that a lack of negative symptoms and the tendency to make stable attributions for life events in general predicted more frequent social contacts, a higher quality of social interaction, and better community participation on the Quality of Life Scale. Results suggest that the tendency to see life events as the result of unstable or unpredictable causes is associated with social dysfunction independent of symptom level.
Key words: attributional style, quality of life, schizophrenia, social function.

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