Is Emotion Processing a Predictor of Functional Outcome in Schizophrenia?

Kimmy S. Kee, Michael F. Green, Jim Mintz, John S. Brekke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


Deficits in the ability to perceive facial and vocal emotion expression are common in schizophrenia. However, relatively little is known about how such deficits might affect functional outcomes. This prospective study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between perception of emotion and aspects of psychosocial functioning, including family relationships, social relationships, work functioning, and independent living/self-care in 94 clinically stabilized schizophrenia outpatients from five community-based rehabilitation programs. Emotion perception (facial emotion, voice emotion, and affect perception) and psychosocial outcome (Strauss and Carpenter Outcome Scale and Role Functioning Scale) were assessed at baseline and after 12 months of psychosocial rehabilitation. Significant associations were found between perception of emotion and work functioning/independent living both cross-sectionally and prospectively over the 12 months. Causal explanatory models suggested that perception of emotion might cause work functioning/independent living outcome over 1 year. The results remained significant when conceptual disorganization was statistically controlled. We did not find differences between men and women in the correlations between emotion perception and work functioning/independent living. Associations between social functioning/family relationships and perception of emotion were not significant. These findings suggest that emotion processing is a key determinant of work functioning/independent living for individuals with serious mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect recognition
  • Emotion perception
  • Functional outcome
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition


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