Introduction: Within the psychosis continuum that includes schizophrenia (SZ) at the severe end and the general population at the mild end, anxiety may negatively impact social functioning more than psychosis or psychotic-like experiences (PLE). This claim is supported by previous reports that show anxiety mediates the relationship between psychosis and social functioning in SZ, suggesting anxiety is critical to social functioning in SZ. Yet no studies have examined a similar relationship in the general population, and this is important because people with PLE are at a significantly higher risk for developing full-blown psychosis. Methods: Similar to those with SZ, we predicted heightened anxiety would mediate the relationship between PLE, as measured by The -Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences, and social functioning, as measured by Social Adjustment Scale – Self-Report, in the general population. Results: Indeed, the current study showed that the relationship between PLE and social functioning was mediated by anxiety (z = 7.81, p < 0.001) within an unselected crowdsourcing sample representative of the general population (Amazon M-Turk; n = 197, mean age 32.38 years). Conclusion: Taken together with previous reports, the current findings suggest that anxiety is a functionally relevant dimension across the psychosis continuum and improving anxiety may improve social functioning across this continuum.

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