Self-Concept Clarity and Psychopathology



Self-concept clarity refers to the coherence of an individual’s identity, how confident one is about one’s attributes, and how consistent and stable these attributes are (Stinson, Wood, & Doxey, 2008). Studies have linked low self-concept clarity to poor psychological adjustment and functioning and high self-concept clarity to adaptive psychological adjustment and functioning. Low self-concept clarity has also been linked to a variety of types of psychopathology, including depression, anxiety, and autism. However, the majority of work on the relations between self-concept clarity and psychopathology has focused on its role in schizophrenia spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia, attenuated psychotic disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. In this chapter, the relations between self-concept clarity and depression, anxiety disorders, and autism spectrum disorders are briefly reviewed. Then, evidence for disturbances in self-concept clarity in schizophrenia is reviewed and linked to a long history of research dating back to the earliest descriptions of the disorder that conceptualized schizophrenia as a disorder primarily of the self.


Self-concept clarity Psychopathology Schizophrenia Psychosis Schizotypy Psychotic-like experiences Depression Anxiety Anomalous self-experiences Autism 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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