An investigation of schizotypy in injecting amphetamine users
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A fully dimensional view of psychiatric disorder conceptualises schizotypy as both a continuous personality trait and an underlying vulnerability to the development of psychotic illness. Such a model would predict that the structure of schizotypal traits would closely parallel the structure of schizophrenia or psychosis. This was investigated in injecting amphetamine users (N=322), a clinical population who have high rates of acute psychotic episodes and subclinical schizotypal experiences. Schizotypy was assessed using the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE), and psychotic symptoms were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Using confirmatory factor analysis, O-LIFE subscale scores were mapped onto latent variables with their more clinical counterparts from the BPRS. A four-factor model comprising positive schizotypy, disorganisation, negative schizotypy, and disinhibition provided the best model fit, consistent with prior research into the structure of schizotypy. The model provided a good fit to the data, lending support to the theory that schizotypy and psychotic symptoms map onto common underlying dimensions.
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