The authors study the frequency of primary enduring negative symptoms in first-admission patients with schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic disorders. Carpenter's criteria for distinguishing the primary, enduring negative symptoms from the more transient negative symptoms (secondary to different factors) were applied. Furthermore, they compare negative symptom complexes between first-admission patients and patients with recurrent hospitalizations (within 5 years after first admission). There was a trend for patients with recurrent admissions to show more frequently a deficit syndrome than first-admission patients. Nevertheless, this difference was not significant (χ2 = 0.90). First-admission patients with deficit syndrome had significantly higher affective blunting (P < 0.05) and anhedonia (P < 0.001) than those with recurrent admissions. First-admission subjects with psychotic disorders had significantly higher frequency of deficit syndrome than those first-admission patients with non-psychotic disorders (P < 0.05). These results show that negative symptoms observed in first-admitted non-schizophrenic patients can also be enduring and primary. Thereby this work does not contribute to support the specificity of primary enduring negative symptoms for schizophrenia. Moreover, data suggest, that primary anhedonia and affective blunting can decrease within the first 5 years after discharge.