Covariance of personality, neurocognition, and schizophrenia spectrum traits in the community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Clinical researchers have observed in relatives of schizophrenic individuals abnormal personality traits resembling the psychopathology of schizophrenia. Further similarities have been observed in correlations between measures of brain function, including attention and executive abilities, and these personality psychopathologies. However, two methodologic factors might account for the covariation of these 'schizophrenia spectrum' personality traits and measures of brain function. Clinical selection bias (Berkson's bias) might result in subjects with overlapping conditions being more likely to be studied, and normal personality attributes could affect performance on neurobehavioral tasks. This study investigated relationships between neurobehavioral correlates of schizophrenia, clinical schizophrenia spectrum personality traits, and normal personality dimensions in the five-factor model of personality. To avoid Berkson's bias, subjects expected to have a high probability of spectrum traits were recruited from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Survey community sample. About 40% of the sample were found to have DSM-IIIR Schizotypal, Schizoid, or Paranoid Personality Traits or Disorders. Schizophrenia Spectrum traits showed significant associations with personality dimensions of the five factor model, particularly Openness to Experience and Neuroticism. In ordinary linear regression models, after adjustment for a number of normal personality characteristics, Schizotypal Personality Traits were still strongly associated with perseverative responses on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). In logistic regression models, subjects with Schizotypal, Schizoid, or Paranoid Traits differed in terms of normal personality profiles and WCST performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • (Schizophrenia)
  • Confounding
  • Epidemiology
  • Five-factor model
  • NEO-PI
  • Neuropsychology
  • Personality
  • Sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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