Is hedonic capacity a protective factor for the development of stress-induced psychosis?

Presentation First Author: 
Inez Myin-Germeys

Introduction: The capacity to experience positive emotions and to enjoy the things that happen may protect against the psychosis-inducing effects of stress. We used momentary assessment to investigate the effects of stress on hedonic capacity and to examine whether the experience of positive affect (PA) can protect against the psychosis-inducing effects of stress. Methods: 260 patients with psychotic disorder and 277 healthy controls participated in an ESM study. First, changes in PA and the occurrence of pleasant events (PE) were examined before and following increases in social stress. Second, it was examined in the patients whether PA could diminish the effect of stress on psychosis. Results: Both samples showed an identical decrease in PA following social stress gradually recovering over the next 270 min. Controls showed a smaller decrease in PE compared to patients and they achieved higher levels of PE over the next 270 min compared to before the stressor. This compensation pattern was not found in the patients. In patients, a significant interaction was found between PA and social stress (B=-.02, p

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Zuzana Kasanova - Marieke Wichers - Dina Collip
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