Behavioral Indicators of Schizotypy in the Biological Parents of Social Anhedonics: A Preliminary Examination of the Familiality of Schizotypal Signs
Collins, Lindsay M.
Blanchard, Jack J
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Social anhedonia appears to be related to risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and thus is a promising indicator of Meehl's construct of schizotypy. Findings from diagnostic, cognitive, and psychophysiological studies have supported the validity of social anhedonia as an indicator of schizotypy, but only recently have the behavioral characteristics of these putative schizotypes been examined. This study replicated previous findings of atypical behavioral characteristics in social anhedonics and expanded upon prior research through an examination of their biological parents, serving as a preliminary investigation into the familiality of schizophrenia-spectrum behaviors. A community sample of 88 18- to 19- year-olds (48 social anhedonics, 40 controls) and their biological parents (42 mothers of social anhedonics, 37 mothers of controls; 24 fathers of social anhedonics, 20 fathers of controls) received diagnostic evaluations that were videotaped as part of an ongoing study and served as the basis for ratings of behavioral signs of schizoidia and schizotypy in the present study. Proband social anhedonics exhibited atypical interpersonal behaviors characteristic of schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders as well as clinical symptoms of schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders. Mothers of social anhedonics displayed atypical interpersonal behaviors characteristic of schizotypal personality disorder but did not show elevations on clinical symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorders. Meaningful, though not statistically significant, effects were observed for behavioral sign ratings and clinical symptom ratings of schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders in the smaller sample of fathers of social anhedonics. Correspondence on schizoid behavioral ratings was observed for probands, particularly males, and their fathers. Results provide preliminary support for the familiality of atypical interpersonal behavior in social anhedonics, as putative schizotypes.