Distractibility and discourse failure: Their association in mania and schizophrenia

Philip D. Harvey, Elizabeth A. Earle-Boyer, Joyce C. Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Manic (N = 18) and schizophrenic (N = 23) patients were evaluated with a linguistic assessment of reference failures and were tested with a digit span distraction task. It was found that, although manics and schizophrenics did not differ in their distraction performance, there were differential relationships between task performance and reference performance across the two subject samples. Both distraction and nondistraction performances were related equally to discourse failures in manics while distraction performance was a much better predictor of discourse failure than nondistraction performance in the schizophrenic sample. The fact that susceptibility to the effects of distraction seemed to be an important and specific predictor of discourse failures in schizophrenia is discussed in terms of recent developments in research and theory regarding schizophrenic speech disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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