The path from schizotypy to depression and aggression and the role of family stress

Premkumar, P. ORCID: 0000-0003-1934-6741, Kuipers, E. and Kumari, V., 2020. The path from schizotypy to depression and aggression and the role of family stress. European Psychiatry, 63 (1): e79. ISSN 0924-9338

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Schizotypy is a multidimensional construct that consists of several personality traits linked to the vulnerability for psychosis. Positive schizotypy includes having paranormal beliefs. Negative schizotypy includes social anhedonia. Disorganised schizotypy includes social anxiety and communication disorder. Schizotypy may be related to depression and aggression through high expressed emotion (EE; a rating of criticism, hostility and emotional over-involvement in a close relative towards a person showing signs of mental disorder) in the context of family stress. This study tested, using path analyses, the hypotheses that schizotypy predicts depression and aggression through high perceived EE as criticism and irritability (hypothesis 1), and praise and intrusiveness in a close relative (hypothesis 2).


One hundred and four healthy participants listened to and rated the self-relevance of standard criticism and standard praise that denote EE. Participants rated their level of schizotypy, depression, aggression and perceived EE in self-report questionnaires. Two path models tested the hypotheses.


Disorganised schizotypy, more than positive schizotypy, predicted the path to depression and aggression when perceived criticism and perceived EE-irritability were mediators. Disorganised schizotypy, more than negative schizotypy, predicted the path to depression and aggression when perceived praise and perceived EE-intrusiveness were mediators.


Greater perceived criticism, and less perceived praise in family communication, explain the path from disorganised schizotypy (more so than positive or negative schizotypy) to depression and aggression. These findings indicate a need to consider the thought disorder-EE link as a potential contributor to depression and aggression in people with schizophrenia.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Psychiatry
Creators: Premkumar, P., Kuipers, E. and Kumari, V.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Psychiatric Association
Date: 30 July 2020
Volume: 63
Number: 1
ISSN: 0924-9338
Rights: © The Author(s), 2020. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 27 Jul 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:08

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