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Original Research

Prevalence, Correlates, Disability, and Comorbidity of DSM-IV Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Results From the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

Attila J. Pulay, MD; Frederick S. Stinson, PhD; Deborah A. Dawson, PhD; Risë B. Goldstein, PhD, MPH; S. Patricia Chou, PhD; Boji Huang, MD, PhD; Tulshi D. Saha, PhD; Sharon M. Smith, PhD; Roger P. Pickering, MS; W. June Ruan, MA; Deborah S. Hasin, PhD; and Bridget F. Grant, PhD, PhD

Published: April 16, 2009

Article Abstract

Objectives: To present nationally representative findings on the prevalence, correlates, and comorbidity of and disability associated with DSM-IV schizotypal personality disorder (SPD).

Method: This study used the 2004-2005 Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which targeted a nationally representative sample of the adult civilian population of the United States aged 18 years and older and residing in households and group quarters. In Wave 2, attempts were made to conduct face-to-face reinterviews with all respondents to the Wave 1 interview.

Results: Lifetime prevalence of SPD was 3.9%, with significantly greater rates among men (4.2%) than women (3.7%) (p < .01). Odds for SPD were significantly greater among black women, individuals with lower incomes, and those who were separated, divorced, or widowed; odds were significantly lower among Asian men (all p < .01). Schizotypal personality disorder was associated with substantial mental disability in both sexes. Co-occurrence rates of Axis I and other Axis II disorders among respondents with SPD were much higher than rates of co-occurrence of SPD among respondents with other disorders. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and additional comorbidity, associations remained significant in both sexes between SPD and 12-month and lifetime bipolar I disorder, social and specific phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as 12-month bipolar II disorder, lifetime generalized anxiety disorder, and borderline and narcissistic personality disorders (all p < .01).

Conclusions: Common and unique factors may underlie associations of SPD with narcissistic and borderline personality disorders, whereas much of the comorbidity between SPD and most mood and anxiety disorders appears to reflect factors common to these disorders. Some of the associations with SPD were sex specific. Schizotypal personality disorder and dependent, avoidant, and borderline personality disorders were associated with the occurrence of schizophrenia or psychotic episode. Schizotypal personality disorder is a prevalent, fairly stable, highly disabling disorder in the general population. Sex differences in associations of SPD with other specific Axis I and II disorders can inform more focused, hypothesis-driven investigations of factors underlying the comorbid relationships. Schizotypal as well as borderline, dependent, and avoidant personality disorders may be components of the schizophrenia spectrum.

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