method, which differs from other MCCB tests, may have
contributed to its importance as a discriminator.
Speed of processing, visual learning, and attention/vigilance
contributed to distinguishing persons with schizophrenia who
were competitively employed vs. those who were not.
Interestingly, the combination of cognitive domains and cut-
off scores that identiﬁed workers differed from those that
identiﬁed non-workers. Marked impairments in processing
speed (below the 2nd percentile) along with impairments in
visual learning ability best distinguished non-workers from
workers. In contrast, level of cognitive functioning appeared
less critical to distinguishing workers from non-workers. Other
studies have also found proc essing speed, learning and
memory, and attention to be related to employment status
with a possible role for executive functioning as well (Bellack et
al., 1999; Bryson and Bell, 2003; Evans et al., 2004; Gold et al.,
2002; Lysaker et al., 2005; Milev et al., 2005), and the ﬁndings
for processing speed may extend more broadly to prediction of
a number of areas of functional outcome (Harvey et al., 2009).
Bellack et al. (1999) found persons with schizophrenia with
good vocational histories (GVH) to perform better from those
with poor vocational histories (PVH) on a broad array of
cognitive tests assessing processing speed, learning and
memory, attention, and executive functioning, as well as
general intelligence. Classiﬁcation of GVH vs. PVH using
discriminant analyses revealed that cognitive measures that
best identiﬁed GVH differed from those for PVH, a ﬁnding
similar to ours. Based on these ﬁndings, it appears easier to
identify cognitive determinants of unemployment than it is to
identify them for employment.
Role of funding source
Funding for the MATRICS Initiative was provided through Contract
N01MH22006 from the National Institute for Mental Health to the University
of California, Los Angeles (Dr. Marder, PI; Dr. Green, Co-PI; Dr. Fenton,
Project Ofﬁcer). Funding for this study came from an Option (Dr. Green, PI;
Dr. Nuechterlein, Co-PI) to the NIMH MATRICS Initiative. The NIMH had no
further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of
data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for
Authors Green, Nuechterlein, and Marder designed the study and wrote
the protocol. Authors Sugar, Lee, and Kern performed the data analyses.
Author Kern wrote the ﬁrst draft of the manuscript with contributions from
authors Gold and Dickinson. All authors contributed to and have approved
the ﬁnal manuscript.
Conﬂict of interest
Author Kern is an ofﬁcer for MATRICS Assessment, Inc. and receives
ﬁnancial compensation for his role within the non-proﬁt organization;
Authors Green and Nuechterlein are ofﬁcers within MATRICS Assessment,
Inc. but do not receive any ﬁnancial remuneration for their respective roles.
No other authors have any conﬂicts of interest with respect to this
The authors are grateful to the study participants for their time and effort
devoted to participation in this study; and we wish to thank the research
staff at the ﬁve performance sites for their work in recruitment, testing,
scoring, and data management. We thank Kellie M. Smith, M.A. for her
assistance in the preparation of the manuscript.
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