The interrelationships among gender, premorbid functioning, and negative symptoms were examined in a first-admission inpatient sample with DSM-III-R schizophrenia. Fifty-two subjects were assessed with the Schedule for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) at baseline and 6-month follow-up. Three indicators of premorbid functioning were examined: the Premorbid Adjustment Scale, the Quick Test, and the GAF for the best month in the year prior to the baseline interview. Men and women had relatively similar ratings on each of the 5 SANS global subscales at both times; they were also relatively similar on most of the indicators of premorbid functioning. The men and women were categorized into low vs moderate-high negative symptom groups at baseline, and no differences in premorbid functioning were detected. When the sample was classified into those with and without consistent negative symptoms at baseline and 6-month follow-up, the enduring negative men and women had significantly poorer premorbid functioning in several areas than the consistently non-negative patients. Our findings support the importance of assessing negative symptoms longitudinally and suggest that gender is not strongly associated with negative symptoms and premorbid functioning in patients ascertained at early stages of schizophrenia.
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