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Vol. 42, No. 6, 2009
Issue release date: October 2009
Psychopathology 2009;42:375–379

Negative Performance Beliefs and Negative Symptoms in Individuals at Ultra-High Risk of Psychosis: A Preliminary Study

Perivoliotis D. · Morrison A.P. · Grant P.M. · French P. · Beck A.T.
aDeparment of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., USA; bSchool of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, and cPsychology Services, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK

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Background: Negative beliefs regarding task performance have been shown to correlate with negative symptom severity in patients with chronic schizophrenia. We conducted a pilot study to determine whether the association also exists in individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis. Sampling and Methods: The sample consisted of 38 individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis and 51 controls. All participants completed the Abbreviated Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale; the ultra-high-risk participants were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Results: High-risk participants endorsed negative performance beliefs to a greater extent than controls and these beliefs were associated with greater negative symptom severity, independent of depression and positive symptoms. Conclusions: The findings are consistent with previous results in chronic patients, and suggest that negative performance beliefs may be a promising psychological factor worthy of further attention in individuals at high risk of psychosis. Longitudinal research with more comprehensive assessment is needed to elucidate the potential role of negative performance beliefs in this population.

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