Schizotypy in New Zealand Ethnic Minority Groups: Examination of Social Risk and Protective Factors
A wealth of research shows a greater incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia and psychotic illness in immigrant and ethnic minority groups. These findings extend to sub-clinical measures of schizophrenia-related personality characteristics, such as schizotypy. Examinations of the role of stress and resilience factors in this relationship have produced inconsistent results. Also, few have examined the association in ethnic minority groups in New Zealand. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify whether New Zealand minority group membership is associated with schizotypy and to explore whether this association may be understood in terms of stress, resilience, disadvantage, and discrimination. In Phase 1 of a two-phase study, the association of New Zealand minority group (Māori, Asian, Pacific) membership with dimensional and categorical schizotypy was assessed in an New Zealand-born undergraduate sample (n = 314). In Phase 2, the roles of social risk factors and resilience in the relationship between minority status and schizotypy were examined in a follow-up subsample (n = 84) of Phase 1 participants. Findings from Phase 1 were consistent with hypotheses and prior literature, showing Māori were over-represented in a taxometrically-defined schizotypy class, while Asian participants were not. Different findings were obtained using dimensional schizotypy scores. Results from Phase 2 indicated that discrimination, deprivation, and stigma did not predict schizotypy whereas greater psychological resilience was strongly assoicated with lower cognitive-perceptual, interpersonal, and disorganisation features of schizotypy. In conclusion, associations between ethnicity and schizotypy were evident but the pattern of findings suggests methodology may affect these relationships. There was evidence of a protective effect of psychological resilience against schizotypy, but this did not appear to contribute to the relationship of minority status with schizotypy.
Advisor: Linscott, Richard
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Ethnicity; Migrants; Schizotypy; Schizophrenia; Risk; Social; Protective; Resilience; Ethnic; Mental disorder; Maori; Pacific; Asian; Minority groups; Minority
Research Type: Thesis