Psychological well-being among individuals with first-episode psychosis


Dr David L. Penn, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3270 Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA. Email:


Aim: Psychological well-being is a subjective component of quality of life (QOL) that has been previously unexplored in individuals recovering from an initial psychotic episode. This study examined predictors of psychological well-being among individuals with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and compared it to a non-clinical college-aged comparison group.

Methods: The Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB) Environmental Mastery and Purpose in Life subscales were administered to both clinical (n = 41) and control (n = 39) participants. Clinical participants were also assessed on symptom measures and QOL, and all participants completed a measure of perceived social support. Multiple regression analyses were carried out to determine predictors of well-being in the FEP sample.

Results: SPWB scores were significantly lower for the FEP group in comparison to the control group. Additionally, greater perceived social support and lower levels of depression were found to be significant predictors of psychological well-being in the clinical sample, whereas gender and negative symptoms were not significant predictors.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the development of a psychotic episode is associated with decreased subjective well-being, and that depression and social support may play an important role in this aspect of an individual's recovery. Additionally, the SPWB appear to be tapping into an important construct that has been relatively unexamined in first-episode research and may have potential utility in clinical practice and future treatment development.