Self-reported affective traits and current affective experiences of biological relatives of people with schizophrenia

Anna R. Docherty, Scott R. Sponheim, John G. Kerns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schizophrenia is characterized by self-reported trait anhedonia but intact hedonic responses during laboratory experiments. Affective traits of first-degree biological relatives may be similar to those of people with schizophrenia, and measures of hedonic response in relatives may be free of antipsychotic medication or cognitive confounds. Relatives also self-report increased anhedonia, yet it is unclear whether, like in patients, this anhedonia is paired with largely intact hedonic self-report. In this study, first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia (n= 33) and nonpsychiatric controls (n= 25) completed a wide range of questionnaires and tasks assessing social and physical anhedonia, positive and negative affective experience, and anticipatory and consummatory pleasure. Valence, intensity, frequency, and the arousal of current emotion were assessed. Extraversion and current positive and negative affective state were also examined in relation to self-reported social anhedonia. Relatives evidenced the same disjunction of increased self-reported anhedonia and intact affective response observed in people with schizophrenia. Group differences in anhedonia were not better accounted for by decreased current positive affect, increased current negative affect, or decreased extraversion in relatives. Results suggest that, like people with schizophrenia, first-degree relatives report intact hedonic response on both questionnaire and laboratory measures despite significant elevations in self-reported social anhedonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-344
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume161
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge doctoral trainees Katelynn McConnell, Holly Weber, and Nic VanMeerton for their assistance with study coordination. Dr. Docherty was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health Ruth Kirschstein National Research Award (NRSA)/ 1F31MH092081 and an American Psychological Foundation F.J. McGuigan Research Award. This research was supported by Merit Review grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Science Research and Development Program ( 1I01CX000227 ), the National Institute of Mental Health ( 5R24MH069675 ) and the Minnesota Medical Foundation ( SMF-2075-99 ) to Dr. Sponheim, and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System Mental Health Patient Service Line .

Funding Information:
Dr. Docherty was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health Ruth Kirschstein National Research Award (NRSA)/1F31MH092081 and an American Psychological Foundation F.J. McGuigan Research Award. This research was also supported by Merit Review grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Science Research and Development Program (1I01CX000227), the National Institute of Mental Health (5R24MH069675) and the Minnesota Medical Foundation (SMF-2075-99) to Dr. Sponheim, and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System Mental Health Patient Service Line.

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Anhedonia
  • Emotion
  • Genetic
  • Relatives
  • Schizotypal

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