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Children with schizotypal personality disorder: A neuropsychological investigation

Connolly, Lorraine; (2000) Children with schizotypal personality disorder: A neuropsychological investigation. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Schizotypal Personality Disorder was first introduced as a diagnostic entity in 1980 and has increasingly attracted research focusing on diagnosis and treatment, and the etiological relationship of this personality disorder to schizophrenia (Raine and Lenz 1996). The diagnosis with respect to children remains unclear, as does the relationship of Schizotypal Personality Disorder to autism, Asperger syndrome and schizophrenia. Executive function deficits have been found in people with Asperger's, with schizophrenia and with adult SPD, but there has been little research that clearly describes a neuropsychological profile of children identified as having Schizotypal Personality Disorder. The aim of this study was to describe the neuropsychological deficits of children with Schizotypal Personality Disorder. If distinct profiles could be described, then this would contribute to differentiating neuropsychologically the schizotypal category from the Schizophrenia Spectrum of Disorders or from the Pervasive Developmental Disorders and support the diagnostic validity of this disorder. The participants were 6 children and adolescents with a psychiatric diagnosis of Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Their IQ was measured using the WISC and the executive functions of set-shifting, planning, fluency, sustained attention and attentional control/inhibition were measured using the Trail Making Test (Part A and B), the WISC Mazes subtest, the Thurstone Word Fluency test, and the Opposite Worlds and Walk Don't Walk subtests from the TEA-Ch battery, respectively. The results do not delineate specific neuropsychological profiles for the six children and therefore do not neuropsychologically differentiate the diagnosis of Schizotypal Personality Disorder from that of a Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Therefore, the neuropsychological validity of SPD and the diagnostic validity of this disorder in children are questioned. The reliability and validity of the TEA-Ch subtest Opposite Worlds is also discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Children with schizotypal personality disorder: A neuropsychological investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Schizophrenia
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107435
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