Date Approved

7-6-2017

Embargo Period

7-7-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dinzeo, Thomas J.

Second Advisor

Tappe, Karyn A.

Subject(s)

Schizophrenics--Health and hygiene

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

Significant health concerns are common among those with schizophrenia- spectrum disorders and are associated with an average lifespan reduction of 15-20 years compared to the general public (Saha, Chant, & McGrath, 2007). Although symptoms of the disorder can disrupt self-care and health behaviors, evidence also suggests that problematic health behaviors are present before the onset of the manifest disorder. One example includes nicotine use which is elevated in those with a family history of schizophrenia (Ferchiou et al., 2012) and in those who show subclinical signs of risk for schizophrenia (Esterberg, Jones, Compton, & Walker, 2007). Despite these findings, there is little research available about other problematic lifestyle behaviors (i.e. physical activity, nutrition) that may also be present prior to the emergence of the full clinical syndrome. Research examining the lifestyle patterns of 'high risk' (subclinical) individuals may increase our understanding of what problematic health behaviors exist in those with risk for schizophrenia prior to the confounding effects of antipsychotic medication use and the disruptions that occur with more severe symptomatology.

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