Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Paul G. Nestor

Second Advisor

Richard Hunter

Third Advisor

Margaret Niznikiewicz


Evidence suggests the intersection of personality, neurocognition, and symptomatology may account for the clinical variability across presentations of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, these domains rarely have been studied simultaneously within the same sample. The present study used an archival sample of patients who had available measures of personality, as assessed by the NEO-FFI-3; symptomatology, as assessed by the Scale for the Assessment of Positive/Negative Symptoms (SANS/SAPS) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS); as well as a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive tests of intelligence, episodic memory, and executive functioning and attentional control. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed several significant findings. Relative to age-matched controls, patients’ personality profiles were characterized by elevated Neuroticism and decreased Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, independent of psychometric intelligence and SES. Neuroticism yielded the largest effect size, distinguishing patients from controls. Trait-symptom correlations revealed higher levels of Openness were associated with greater positive symptoms on the PANSS Positive and fewer negative symptoms on the PANSS Negative. Unexpectedly, higher levels of Extraversion also were associated with greater positive symptoms on the PANSS Positive. These correlations remained significant when covarying for SES. No traits were associated with the SANS or SAPS. Both patient and control groups demonstrated associations between higher levels of Openness and improved verbal comprehension and perceptual organization. Higher Openness also was associated with improved scores of general memory. Patients’ elevated Neuroticism was associated with reduced executive functioning and attentional control on both the TMT and WCST, while higher Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness correlated with improved performance on these measures. Findings are discussed relative to current transdiagnostic approaches to understanding psychopathology, with an emphasis on the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) model. Overall, our findings did not support the application of HiTOP model to chronic schizophrenia.


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