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Arousability in schizophrenia: relationship to emotional and physiological reactivity and symptom severity

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Dinzeo TJ, Cohen AS, Nienow TM, Docherty NM. Arousability in schizophrenia: relationship to emotional and physiological reactivity and symptom severity. Objective: 

Socioenvironmental stressors have been linked with increased symptom severity and relapse in those with schizophrenia. However, little is known about how individual differences in stress reactivity may contribute to these outcomes. Method: 

This study examined the association between the temperament characteristic of arousability and changes in negative affect and cardiovascular activity during a challenge task in 58 in-patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia and 21 controls. Results: 

In the patient group, levels of arousability were significantly associated with increases in negative affect in response to the task and greater severity of affective symptoms. Levels of arousability were associated with decreased heart rate during the challenge task in our patient group. Conclusion: 

These findings suggest that greater attention be given to individual differences, such as temperament and personality characteristics, and their role in the experience of stressors, including emotional and physiological response, as well as symptom development.

Keywords: cardiovascular reactivity; emotion/stress; personality; symptoms; temperament

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 2: Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA and 3: Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2008


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