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June 1982

Schizophrenia With Premorbid Inferiority FeelingsA Distinct Subgroup?

Author Affiliations

From the Schizophrenia Biologic Research Center and Department of Psychiatry, Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center, Mt Sinai School of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Dr Kendler); and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton (Dr Hays).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(6):643-647. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290060005002

• This study examines whether the presence of premorbid inferiority feelings (PIFs) defines a distinct subgroup of schizophrenia. Of 122 clinically diagnosed schizophrenics, 93% of whom met DSM-III criteria for schizophrenic disorder, 31 were found to have PIFs. By family history, schizophrenia was significantly less common in first-degree relatives of schizophrenics with (1.5%) than without (9.1%) PIFs, while affective disorders were equally common in both groups of relatives. Compared with schizophrenics without PIFs, schizophrenics with PIFs were significantly more likely to have been in a stressful environment at the onset of their disorder, to have an embarrassing physical handicap, to be less severely thought-disordered, and to have a lower rate of relapse on follow-up. From a genetic, etiologic, symptomatic, and prognostic perspective, the presence of PIFs may define a distinct subgroup of schizophrenia.