Intelligence in schizophrenia: meta-analysis of the research.

E. Aylward, E. Walker, B. Bettes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


This article combines a review and meta-analysis of research on IQ in schizophrenia, with emphasis on areas of convergence in the findings, as well as questions that remain to be answered. Taken together, the findings suggest that early-onset and adult-onset schizophrenia are associated with intellectual deficits across the lifespan. Preschizophrenic children, adolescents, and young adults perform below matched controls on a variety of standardized measures of intelligence. Significant IQ deficits are also apparent after the onset of the disorder. Moreover, IQ is positively related to several indices of prognosis, and, among hospitalized patients, there is negative within-subject covariance between intellectual performance and symptom severity. Although there is fairly consistent evidence that Verbal IQ is higher than Performance IQ among schizophrenic patients, a more specific pattern of subtest performance is not apparent. A central question raised by the results is whether IQ is an independently determined factor that can serve to mitigate the vulnerability of individuals who are constitutionally predisposed to schizophrenia, or whether intellectual deficit is one manifestation of the constitutional predisposition to the disorder. The findings also raise the question of possible sex differences in the developmental determinants of schizophrenia: Meta-analyses revealed that premorbid IQ deficits are more prevalent among males than females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-459
Number of pages30
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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