Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Preserved reading and spelling ability in psychotic disorders

J. Thomas Dalbya1 c1 and Richard Williamsa1

a1 Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, Calgary General Hospital and the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Standard scores on tests of intelligence, memory and academic achievement were obtained from individuals with either schizophrenic spectrum disorders, mania, alcohol abuse, antisocial personality disorders or no mental disorder. The three cognitive measures were highly and positively correlated in three groups (normal controls, alcohol abusers and antisocial personality disorders), while in the schizophrenic spectrum and manic groups a pattern of average reading and spelling achievement was contrasted with lower intelligence and memory quotients. It was suggested that reading and spelling ability are more accurate predictors of premorbid ability in psychotic disorders than other psychometric scales. This parallels previous findings with organic dementias and raises questions about possible shared aetiological bases between dementias and psychoses.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr J. Thomas Dalby, Department of Psychology, Calgary General Hospital, 841 Centre Avenue East, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2E 0A1.