Exploring Language and Interpersonal Dysfunction in Psychoticism

Doctoral Dissertation


Much of the research examining interpersonal functioning in individuals with psychoticism traits has focused on the social impact of negative psychotic-spectrum symptoms. Additionally, a significant research literature examines speech features associated with psychoticism traits, but much of this research investigates underlying cognitive mechanisms. Although yet other research indicates that language use is associated with interpersonal functioning and that interpersonal dysfunction is central to the expression of pathological-range traits, there is scarce research dedicated to the questions of whether and how language use affects interpersonal functioning in individuals with psychotic-spectrum traits and symptoms. The current study begins to fill that gap by exploring relations among (1) self- and interviewer-rated psychotic-spectrum traits and symptoms, (2) self- and interviewer-rated interpersonal functioning, and (3) percentage of words in various categories obtained from transcripts of an audio-recorded interview. Preliminary analyses examine the correlations between schizotypy and category percentages in written responses to open-ended prompts. Results of these analyses partially directed the main analyses, which examined the hypothesis that the percentage of words used in several categories, such as verbs, pronouns, and positive and negative emotion words, are correlated with psychotic-spectrum pathology and interpersonal functioning. Detailed hypotheses are presented in the main text. I also conducted regression analyses predicting interpersonal functioning from psychotic-spectrum pathology and category percentages to determine the predictive power of each and whether word use may be a mechanism of interpersonal dysfunction in individuals with psychotic-spectrum pathology.


Attribute NameValues
Author Xia Allen
Contributor David Watson, Committee Member
Contributor Kathleen Eberhard, Committee Member
Contributor David Smith, Committee Member
Contributor Lee Anna Clark, Research Director
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
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Defense Date
  • 2019-08-28

Submission Date 2019-12-01
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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