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Publication Date

2009-01-01

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2009-05-12

First Committee Member

Jutta Joormann - Committee Member

Second Committee Member

Amy Weisman de Mamani - Mentor

Third Committee Member

Bonnie Levin - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

Patients with schizophrenia have extremely high levels of depression and suicide (Carlborg et al., 2008), thus, a better understanding of factors associated with poor quality of life (QoL) for this population is sorely needed. A growing body of research suggests that cognitive functioning in schizophrenia may be a strong predictor of overall QoL (Green et al., 2000), but individual domains of QoL have not been examined. Indirect evidence also suggests that emotion perception may underlie the relationship between neurocognition and QoL, but this hypothesis has also yet to be tested. Using a sample of 92 clinically stable schizophrenia patients, the current study explores the relationship between neurocognition, namely attention and working memory, and the following sub domains of QoL: social, vocational, intrapsychic foundations and environmental engagement. The current study also examines whether emotion perception mediates this relationship. In partial support of hypotheses, patients with more deficits in working memory reported decreased Occupational QoL and, although only marginally significant, decreased Total QoL. There was also a trend for poorer working memory to be associated with poorer Intrapsychic Foundations QoL. Contrary to hypotheses, emotion perception was not found to mediate the relationship between working memory and QoL. Current findings suggest that interventions that specifically target working memory may also improve many other aspects of schizophrenia patients? QoL.

Keywords

Quality Of Life; Social Cognition; Emotion Perception; Neurocognition; Schizophrenia

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