Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Philip T. Yanos

Committee Members

William H. Gottdiener

Elizabeth L. Jeglic

Bethany L. Leonhardt

Paul H. Lysaker

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


schizophrenia, personal narrative, identity, recovery, functioning


Among individuals with schizophrenia, research has demonstrated that in addition to the positive and negative symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia, the diminishment of the self also represents an important aspect of the illness (Lysaker & Lysaker, 2010). Research has confirmed that the self-experience, particularly as measured by the telling of one’s life story through the Scale to Assess Narrative Development (STAND), is linked to a variety of subjective and objective recovery outcomes from schizophrenia. While this association has been documented in different research studies, less is known about the ways in which personal narrative functions to predict recovery outcomes in a longitudinal design and with a diverse sample. This longitudinal study included two assessment points, baseline and post-treatment (approximately five months following baseline assessment), to better evaluate narrative development in a prospective research design. In a sample of 116 individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, this study sought to investigate the influences of the self-experience on recovery-related factors (both subjective and objective). This study sought to research the associations between the self-experience and others facets of recovery among people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in a prospective design, to evaluate the predictive relationship of the self-experience to subjective and objective recovery indicators and to extend prior results in this area to more diverse samples. Results indicated that the self-experience revealed associations to psychiatric symptoms, self-esteem, internalize stigma of mental illness, and social and vocational functioning. Baseline personal narrative emerged as a significant predictorof coping strategies (problem-centered, avoidant, neutral) used by study participants as well as overall social functioning. Implications from these findings suggest that narrative development may show causal relationships to specific recovery and coping variables, that impaired narrative development may serve as a barrier to achieving recovery outcomes, and that personal narrative offers unique contributions in understanding broader deficits faced by individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.