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Community Functioning and Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia: The Nature of the Relationship

Kuo, Szu Yu Susan (2015) Community Functioning and Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia: The Nature of the Relationship. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Although cognition is one of the most important predictors of community functioning in schizophrenia, little is known about the causes of this relationship. This study is the first to our knowledge to examine the extent to which this correlation is genetically and/or environmentally mediated and its degree of specificity to schizophrenia. Six hundred and thirty-six participants from 43 multigenerational families with at least two schizophrenia relatives and 135 unrelated controls underwent diagnostic interview and functioning assessment along with the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery, Trail Making Test and California Verbal Learning Test. Exploratory factor analyses yielded one general cognition factor and one functioning factor while a social cognition factor was comprised of the average of two tasks. SOLAR (Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines) (Almasy & Blangero, 1998) was used to conduct family-based analyses quantifying genetic and environmental effects on the cognition-functioning correlation. As expected, among the 103 relatives with schizophrenia, there was considerable variation in functioning and cognitive performance and a significant correlation between the two (Rp=0.335, p=0.005). Shared genetic effects were significant contributors to this relationship (Rg=0.956, p<0.001) whereas idiosyncratic experiences were not. In contrast, shared genetic effects were not significant among relatives with major depression, substance abuse or no psychopathology. Furthermore, functioning in schizophrenia was not significantly predicted by cognition in relatives from other diagnostic groups. Across all analyses, the contributions of social cognition to functioning were similar to and fully accounted for by general cognition. The cognition-functioning correlation in schizophrenia is largely attributable to genetic factors specific to the disorder that also encompass genetic effects on the association between social cognition and functioning. These findings provide a foundation from which heritable factors contributing to functioning in schizophrenia can be differentiated from those contributing to functioning in psychiatric disorders in general, which suggest that investigations of specific genetic variants contributing to this association are warranted.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kuo, Szu Yu
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPogue-Geile, Michaelmfpg@pitt.eduMFPG
Committee MemberRoecklein, Kathryn Akroeck@pitt.eduKROECK
Committee MemberNimgaonkar, Vishwajitnimga@pitt.eduNIMGA
Committee MemberEack, Shaun Michaelsme12@pitt.eduSME12
Date: 8 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 December 2014
Approval Date: 8 June 2015
Submission Date: 9 January 2015
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: schizophrenia, etiology, community functioning, cognition, genetic correlation, family study, specificity
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2015 19:18
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 05:15


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