The Relationship between Social Competence, Symptom Severity and Employment in Schizophrenia


Given the functional impairments associated with schizophrenia, engaging in work activities is challenging for most individuals with the illness. This study examined clinical and social barriers to employment among individuals with schizophrenia. Data came from a study on psychosocial rehabilitation involving 149 racially and ethnically diverse individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia who had recently enrolled in community-based mental health services. A model that included social competence, symptom severity, and years of education was tested using binary logistic regression. Findings indicate that although symptom severity predicted employability, increased social competence and more years of education played a greater role in employability. In particular, social competence was a stronger predictor in the multivariable model. Findings underscore the need for not only timely interventions to reduce symptom severity but also psychosocial approaches designed to improve social and interpersonal skills that are essential for increasing employability.

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John S. Brekke received support from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH53282).

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Correspondence to Concepción Barrio.

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Hernandez, M., Barrio, C., Lim, C. et al. The Relationship between Social Competence, Symptom Severity and Employment in Schizophrenia. J. Psychosoc. Rehabil. Ment. Health 4, 231–235 (2017).

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  • Community mental health
  • Schizophrenia
  • Employment
  • Social skills