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Schizotypal traits are considered a phenotypic-indicator of schizotypy, a latent personality organization reflecting a putative liability for psychosis. To date, no previous study has examined the comparability of factorial structures across samples originating from different countries and cultures. The main goal was to evaluate the factorial structure and reliability of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores by amalgamating data from studies conducted in 12 countries and across 21 sites.
The overall sample consisted of 27 001 participants (37.5% males, n = 4251 drawn from the general population). The mean age was 22.12 years (s.d. = 6.28, range 16–55 years). The SPQ was used. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Multilevel CFA (ML-CFA) were used to evaluate the factor structure underlying the SPQ scores.
At the SPQ item level, the nine factor and second-order factor models showed adequate goodness-of-fit. At the SPQ subscale level, three- and four-factor models displayed better goodness-of-fit indices than other CFA models. ML-CFA showed that the intraclass correlation coefficients values were lower than 0.106. The three-factor model showed adequate goodness of fit indices in multilevel analysis. The ordinal α coefficients were high, ranging from 0.73 to 0.94 across individual samples, and from 0.84 to 0.91 for the combined sample.
The results are consistent with the conceptual notion that schizotypal personality is a multifaceted construct and support the validity and utility of SPQ in cross-cultural research. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications of our results for diagnostic systems, psychosis models and cross-national mental health strategies.
Psychometrically identified positive schizotypy and negative schizotypy are differentially related to psychopathology, personality and social functioning. However, little is known about the experience and expression of schizotypy in daily life and the psychological mechanisms that trigger psychotic-like experiences.
The present study employed experience sampling methodology (ESM) to assess positive and negative schizotypy in daily life in a non-clinical sample of 412 young adults. ESM is a structured diary technique in which participants are prompted at random times during the day to complete assessments of their current experiences.
As hypothesized, positive schizotypy was associated with increased negative affect, thought impairment, suspiciousness, negative beliefs about current activities and feelings of rejection, but not with social disinterest or decreased positive affect. Negative schizotypy, on the other hand, was associated with decreased positive affect and pleasure in daily life, increased negative affect, and decreases in social contact and interest. Both positive schizotypy and negative schizotypy were associated with the desire to be alone when with others. However, this was moderated by anxiety in positive schizotypy and by diminished positive affect in negative schizotypy.
The results support the construct validity of a multidimensional model of schizotypy and the ecological validity of the positive and negative schizotypy dimensions. ESM appears to be a promising method for examining the daily life experiences of schizotypic individuals.
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