A Transdiagnostic Perspective on Social Anhedonia

Emma Barkus, Johanna C. Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Humans are highly social beings, yet people with social anhedonia experience reduced interest in or reward from social situations. Social anhedonia is a key facet of schizotypal personality, an important symptom of schizophrenia, and increasingly recognized as an important feature in a range of other psychological disorders. However, to date, there has been little examination of the similarities and differences in social anhedonia across diagnostic borders. Here, our goal was to conduct a selective review of social anhedonia in different psychological and life course contexts, including the psychosis continuum, depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, along with developmental and neurobiological factors. Current evidence suggests that the nature and expression of social anhedonia vary across psychological disorders with some groups showing deficient learning about, enjoyment from, and anticipation of the pleasurable aspects of social interactions, while for others, some of these components appear to remain intact. However, study designs and methodologies are diverse, the roles of developmental and neurobiological factors are not routinely considered, and direct comparisons between diagnostic groups are rare-which prevents a more nuanced understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved. Future studies, parsing the wanting, liking, and learning components of social reward, will help to fill gaps in the current knowledge base. Consistent across disorders is diminished pleasure from social situations, subsequent withdrawal, and poorer social functioning in those who express social anhedonia. Nonetheless, feelings of loneliness often remain, which suggests the need for social connection is not entirely absent. Adolescence is a particularly important period of social and neural development and may provide a valuable window on the developmental origins of social anhedonia. Adaptive social functioning is key to recovery from mental health disorders; therefore, understanding the intricacies of social anhedonia will help to inform treatment and prevention strategies for a range of diagnostic categories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

Cite this

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title = "A Transdiagnostic Perspective on Social Anhedonia",
abstract = "Humans are highly social beings, yet people with social anhedonia experience reduced interest in or reward from social situations. Social anhedonia is a key facet of schizotypal personality, an important symptom of schizophrenia, and increasingly recognized as an important feature in a range of other psychological disorders. However, to date, there has been little examination of the similarities and differences in social anhedonia across diagnostic borders. Here, our goal was to conduct a selective review of social anhedonia in different psychological and life course contexts, including the psychosis continuum, depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, along with developmental and neurobiological factors. Current evidence suggests that the nature and expression of social anhedonia vary across psychological disorders with some groups showing deficient learning about, enjoyment from, and anticipation of the pleasurable aspects of social interactions, while for others, some of these components appear to remain intact. However, study designs and methodologies are diverse, the roles of developmental and neurobiological factors are not routinely considered, and direct comparisons between diagnostic groups are rare-which prevents a more nuanced understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved. Future studies, parsing the wanting, liking, and learning components of social reward, will help to fill gaps in the current knowledge base. Consistent across disorders is diminished pleasure from social situations, subsequent withdrawal, and poorer social functioning in those who express social anhedonia. Nonetheless, feelings of loneliness often remain, which suggests the need for social connection is not entirely absent. Adolescence is a particularly important period of social and neural development and may provide a valuable window on the developmental origins of social anhedonia. Adaptive social functioning is key to recovery from mental health disorders; therefore, understanding the intricacies of social anhedonia will help to inform treatment and prevention strategies for a range of diagnostic categories.",
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A Transdiagnostic Perspective on Social Anhedonia. / Barkus, Emma; Badcock, Johanna C.

In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, Vol. 10, 216, 24.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Transdiagnostic Perspective on Social Anhedonia

AU - Barkus, Emma

AU - Badcock, Johanna C.

PY - 2019/4/24

Y1 - 2019/4/24

N2 - Humans are highly social beings, yet people with social anhedonia experience reduced interest in or reward from social situations. Social anhedonia is a key facet of schizotypal personality, an important symptom of schizophrenia, and increasingly recognized as an important feature in a range of other psychological disorders. However, to date, there has been little examination of the similarities and differences in social anhedonia across diagnostic borders. Here, our goal was to conduct a selective review of social anhedonia in different psychological and life course contexts, including the psychosis continuum, depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, along with developmental and neurobiological factors. Current evidence suggests that the nature and expression of social anhedonia vary across psychological disorders with some groups showing deficient learning about, enjoyment from, and anticipation of the pleasurable aspects of social interactions, while for others, some of these components appear to remain intact. However, study designs and methodologies are diverse, the roles of developmental and neurobiological factors are not routinely considered, and direct comparisons between diagnostic groups are rare-which prevents a more nuanced understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved. Future studies, parsing the wanting, liking, and learning components of social reward, will help to fill gaps in the current knowledge base. Consistent across disorders is diminished pleasure from social situations, subsequent withdrawal, and poorer social functioning in those who express social anhedonia. Nonetheless, feelings of loneliness often remain, which suggests the need for social connection is not entirely absent. Adolescence is a particularly important period of social and neural development and may provide a valuable window on the developmental origins of social anhedonia. Adaptive social functioning is key to recovery from mental health disorders; therefore, understanding the intricacies of social anhedonia will help to inform treatment and prevention strategies for a range of diagnostic categories.

AB - Humans are highly social beings, yet people with social anhedonia experience reduced interest in or reward from social situations. Social anhedonia is a key facet of schizotypal personality, an important symptom of schizophrenia, and increasingly recognized as an important feature in a range of other psychological disorders. However, to date, there has been little examination of the similarities and differences in social anhedonia across diagnostic borders. Here, our goal was to conduct a selective review of social anhedonia in different psychological and life course contexts, including the psychosis continuum, depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, along with developmental and neurobiological factors. Current evidence suggests that the nature and expression of social anhedonia vary across psychological disorders with some groups showing deficient learning about, enjoyment from, and anticipation of the pleasurable aspects of social interactions, while for others, some of these components appear to remain intact. However, study designs and methodologies are diverse, the roles of developmental and neurobiological factors are not routinely considered, and direct comparisons between diagnostic groups are rare-which prevents a more nuanced understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved. Future studies, parsing the wanting, liking, and learning components of social reward, will help to fill gaps in the current knowledge base. Consistent across disorders is diminished pleasure from social situations, subsequent withdrawal, and poorer social functioning in those who express social anhedonia. Nonetheless, feelings of loneliness often remain, which suggests the need for social connection is not entirely absent. Adolescence is a particularly important period of social and neural development and may provide a valuable window on the developmental origins of social anhedonia. Adaptive social functioning is key to recovery from mental health disorders; therefore, understanding the intricacies of social anhedonia will help to inform treatment and prevention strategies for a range of diagnostic categories.

KW - schizotypy

KW - schizophrenia

KW - eating disorders

KW - autism spectrum disorders

KW - posttraumatic stress disorder

KW - depression

KW - POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER

KW - OXFORD-LIVERPOOL INVENTORY

KW - NUCLEUS-ACCUMBENS

KW - PLEASURE SCALE

KW - HIGH-RISK

KW - NEGATIVE SCHIZOTYPY

KW - EARLY ADOLESCENCE

KW - NEURAL RESPONSES

KW - ANOREXIA-NERVOSA

KW - CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00216

DO - 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00216

M3 - Review article

VL - 10

JO - Frontiers in Psychiatry

JF - Frontiers in Psychiatry

SN - 1664-0640

M1 - 216

ER -