Connections between and within extended psychosis and autistic phenotypes and social relationships in the general population

Michal Hajdúk, Alexandra Straková, Jakub Januška, Vladimír Ivančík, Daniel Dančík, Natália Čavojská, Vanda Valkučáková, Anton Heretik, Ján Pečeňák, Samuel J. Abplanalp, Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Non - clinical individuals with higher levels of autistic traits and psychotic experiences also have problems in social relationships. Therefore, this study aimed to model complex associations between autistic and psychotic phenotypes and indicators of social relationships in the general population using a network approach. Methods: The sample consisted of 649 participants with a mean age of M = 40.23 and SD = 13.09 sampled from the general population. The sample was representative for the 18–65 years old general population in the Slovak Republic. The following scales were administered: Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences, The Comprehensive Autistic Trait Inventory, and NIH Toolbox Adult Social Relationship Scales. Associations between variables and the presence of communities were identified using Exploratory Graph Analysis. Results: Results revealed four highly stable and densely connected communities within the network: social relationships, autistic traits, positive symptoms, and the last one consisting of all negative symptoms, problems in social interactions, and depression. The most important variables in the network were difficulties in social interaction, perceived rejection, bizarre ideas, depression, and social withdrawal. Conclusions: The psychotic and autistic phenotypes in the general population showed a network of connections with characteristics of social relationships. Community detection revealed that autistic traits and psychotic–like experiences formed relatively independent communities. Further, there was substantial overlap between negative symptoms (e.g., social withdrawal), and core features of the autistic phenotype, especially social interaction difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Autistic traits
  • Negative symptoms
  • Network analysis
  • Positive symptoms
  • Social relationships

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