Emotional intelligence in schizophrenia

Psychology Program, California State University Channel Islands, USA.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 3.92). 10/2008; 107(1):61-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.08.016
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Recent studies using neuroimaging techniques provide further evidence that persons with higher MSCEIT scores solve social problems more quickly and accurately than their counterparts, while revealing less brain activity, even after controlling for differences in performance in solving nonsocial problems (Reis et al., 2007). Studies with clinical samples lead to similar conclusions: patients with psychopathologies such as generalized social phobia, schizotypy, and schizophrenia, who score lower on the MSCEIT, show poorer interpersonal and social functioning than control group with higher MSCEIT scores (Aguirre , Sergi, & Levy, 2008; Jacobs et al., 2008; Kee et al., 2009). On the basis of existing theory and research, people with higher EI would be expected to anticipate others' actions and therefore make better interpersonal decisions in the course of social interactions . "
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    • "The mental processes used to observe, interpret, and respond to other people's emotions are encompassed in the term " social cognition. " Previous studies have found that individuals with schizophrenia exhibit impairments in multiple domains of social cognition including emotion recognition (Penn et al., 2008), socialbased emotion regulation/management (Kee et al., 2009), and theory of mind (Sprong et al., 2007; Bora et al., 2009)—the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others. Social cognition plays a key role in one's ability to function in society, and impairments in several social cognitive domains have been linked to poor functional outcome in individuals with schizophrenia (Couture et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit impairments in multiple social cognitive domains. There is evidence that these impairments may be trait-related vulnerability markers for schizophrenia. However, the literature focusing on individuals vulnerable to developing schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, referred to as schizotypy, has produced inconsistent findings. This study's primary aim was to provide a more comprehensive understanding of social cognitive functioning within schizotypy than previous studies by employing a broad array of measures to assess multiple social cognitive domains, and examine how these domains relate to specific schizotypy traits (i.e., positive, negative, and disorganized) and Quality of Life (QOL). Facial emotion recognition, Theory of Mind (ToM), and aspects of emotional intelligence related to regulating one's own emotions (emotion management) and other's emotions (social management) were measured. Individuals with psychometrically defined schizotypy (n=36) and controls (n=26) were examined. The schizotypy group performed significantly worse than controls on facial emotion recognition, ToM, and emotion management, but not social management. Generally speaking, poorer social cognition performance was not a function of specific schizotypy traits. However, negative traits were associated with poorer facial emotion recognition, and disorganized traits were associated with better social management. Facial emotion recognition was associated with QOL in the schizotypy group.
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    • "If EI is found to make a significant contribution to social function, interventions designed to remediate deficits in EI may improve outcomes for people with schizophrenia. Kee et al. [16] assessed 50 people with schizophrenia using the MSCEIT. They found modest correlations between all Branches of the MSCEIT and independent living/selfcare ; between Identifying Emotions (Branch 1) and work productivity, relationships with family and spouse, and psychosocial adjustment and between Understanding Emotions (Branch 3) and psychosocial adjustment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Social cognition is a domain of cognitive function that includes the ability to understand and manage social interactions. Emotional intelligence (EI) has been identified as a component of social cognition and is defined as the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions. Neurocognitive impairments are known to be associated with poorer social function in people with schizophrenia, but less is known about the relationships between EI, neurocognition, and social function. The current study assessed EI using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) in 20 people with schizophrenia and 20 controls. The schizophrenia group had significantly lower scores on all measures of EI and demonstrated poorer neurocognition and social functioning than controls. The difference between schizophrenia and control groups was greatest for the Understanding Emotions Branch of the MSCEIT. The neurocognition score and total EI score accounted for 18.3% of the variance in social function in the control group and 9.1% of the variance in social function in the schizophrenia group. Our results suggest that a total EI score is not a useful predictor of overall social function and it may be more clinically useful to develop an individual profile of social cognitive abilities, including EI, to form a remediation program.
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