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Deconstructing sub-clinical psychosis into latent-state and trait variables over a 30-year time span


Rössler, Wulf; Hengartner, Michael P; Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta; Haker, Helene; Angst, Jules (2013). Deconstructing sub-clinical psychosis into latent-state and trait variables over a 30-year time span. Schizophrenia Research, 150(1):197-204.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Our aim was to deconstruct the variance underlying the expression of sub-clinical psychosis symptoms into portions associated with latent time-dependent states and time-invariant traits.
METHODS: We analyzed data of 335 subjects from the general population of Zurich, Switzerland, who had been repeatedly measured between 1979 (age 20/21) and 2008 (age 49/50). We applied two measures of sub-clinical psychosis derived from the SCL-90-R, namely schizotypal signs (STS) and schizophrenia nuclear symptoms (SNS). Variance was decomposed with latent state-trait analysis and associations with covariates were examined with generalized linear models.
RESULTS: At ages 19/20 and 49/50, the latent states underlying STS accounted for 48% and 51% of variance, whereas for SNS those estimates were 62% and 50%. Between those age classes, however, expression of sub-clinical psychosis was strongly associated with stable traits (75% and 89% of total variance in STS and SNS, respectively, at age 27/28). Latent states underlying variance in STS and SNS were particularly related to partnership problems over almost the entire observation period. STS was additionally related to employment problems, whereas drug-use was a strong predictor of states underlying both syndromes at age 19/20. The latent trait underlying expression of STS and SNS was particularly related to low sense of mastery and self-esteem and to high depressiveness.
CONCLUSIONS: Although most psychosis symptoms are transient and episodic in nature, the variability in their expression is predominantly caused by stable traits. Those time-invariant and rather consistent effects are particularly influential around age 30, whereas the occasion-specific states appear to be particularly influential at ages 20 and 50.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Our aim was to deconstruct the variance underlying the expression of sub-clinical psychosis symptoms into portions associated with latent time-dependent states and time-invariant traits.
METHODS: We analyzed data of 335 subjects from the general population of Zurich, Switzerland, who had been repeatedly measured between 1979 (age 20/21) and 2008 (age 49/50). We applied two measures of sub-clinical psychosis derived from the SCL-90-R, namely schizotypal signs (STS) and schizophrenia nuclear symptoms (SNS). Variance was decomposed with latent state-trait analysis and associations with covariates were examined with generalized linear models.
RESULTS: At ages 19/20 and 49/50, the latent states underlying STS accounted for 48% and 51% of variance, whereas for SNS those estimates were 62% and 50%. Between those age classes, however, expression of sub-clinical psychosis was strongly associated with stable traits (75% and 89% of total variance in STS and SNS, respectively, at age 27/28). Latent states underlying variance in STS and SNS were particularly related to partnership problems over almost the entire observation period. STS was additionally related to employment problems, whereas drug-use was a strong predictor of states underlying both syndromes at age 19/20. The latent trait underlying expression of STS and SNS was particularly related to low sense of mastery and self-esteem and to high depressiveness.
CONCLUSIONS: Although most psychosis symptoms are transient and episodic in nature, the variability in their expression is predominantly caused by stable traits. Those time-invariant and rather consistent effects are particularly influential around age 30, whereas the occasion-specific states appear to be particularly influential at ages 20 and 50.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:31 Jan 2014 15:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:34
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0006-3223
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2013.07.042
PubMed ID:23932663

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