Emotional intelligence in schizophrenia.

Psychology Program, California State University Channel Islands, USA.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 4.43). 10/2008; 107(1):61-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.08.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Deficits in emotion perception have been extensively documented in schizophrenia and are associated with poor psychosocial functioning. However, little is known about other aspects of emotion processing that are critical for adaptive functioning. The current study assessed schizophrenia patients' performance on a theoretically-based, well-validated, multidimensional measure of emotional intelligence, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D.R., 2002. Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT): User's Manual. Multi-Health Systems, Inc., Toronto, Ontario).
50 schizophrenia outpatients and 39 non-psychiatric controls completed the MSCEIT, a performance measure comprised of subtests that assess four components (branches) of emotional intelligence: Identifying, Using, Understanding, and Managing Emotions. Among patients, associations between MSCEIT scores and measures of clinical symptoms as well as functional outcome were evaluated.
The MSCEIT demonstrated good psychometric properties in both groups. Schizophrenia patients performed significantly worse than controls on the total MSCEIT score, and on three of the four subtests: Identifying, Understanding, and Managing Emotions. Among patients, lower MSCEIT scores significantly correlated with higher negative and disorganized symptoms, as well as worse community functioning.
The MSCEIT is a useful tool for investigating emotion processing in schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate deficits across multiple domains of emotion processing. These deficits have significant links with clinical symptoms of schizophrenia and with how patients function in their daily lives. Further research is required to understand the links between emotional intelligence, clinical symptoms, and functional outcome in schizophrenia.

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