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Risk and protective factors for psychotic experiences in adolescence: a population-based study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2020

Elaine M. McMahon*
Affiliation:
National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland School of Public Health, University CollegeCork, Ireland
Paul Corcoran
Affiliation:
National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland School of Public Health, University CollegeCork, Ireland
Helen Keeley
Affiliation:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services North Cork, Health Service Executive, Ireland
Mary Clarke
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Helen Coughlan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Danuta Wasserman
Affiliation:
National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental lll-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Christina W. Hoven
Affiliation:
Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute; Dept of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA
Vladimir Carli
Affiliation:
National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental lll-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Marco Sarchiapone
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine and Health Science, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy
Colm Healy
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Mary Cannon
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, Ireland Department of Psychiatry, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
*
Author for correspondence: Elaine McMahon, Email: e.mcmahon@ucc.ie

Abstract

Background

Psychotic experiences (PEs) are reported by a significant minority of adolescents and are associated with the development of psychiatric disorders. The aims of this study were to examine associations between PEs and a range of factors including psychopathology, adversity and lifestyle, and to investigate mediating effects of coping style and parental support on associations between adversity and PEs in a general population adolescent sample.

Method

Cross-sectional data were drawn from the Irish centre of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe study. Students completed a self-report questionnaire and 973 adolescents, of whom 522 (53.6%) were boys, participated. PEs were assessed using the 7-item Adolescent Psychotic Symptom Screener.

Results

Of the total sample, 81 (8.7%) of the sample were found to be at risk of PEs. In multivariate analysis, associations were found between PEs and number of adverse events reported (OR 4.48, CI 1.41–14.25; p < 0.011), maladaptive/pathological internet use (OR 2.70, CI 1.30–5.58; p = 0.007), alcohol intoxication (OR 2.12, CI 1.10–4.12; p = 0.025) and anxiety symptoms (OR 4.03, CI 1.57–10.33; p = 0.004). There were small mediating effects of parental supervision, parental support and maladaptive coping on associations between adversity and PEs.

Conclusion

We have identified potential risk factors for PEs from multiple domains including adversity, mental health and lifestyle factors. The mediating effect of parental support on associations between adversity and PEs suggests that poor family relationships may account for some of this mechanism. These findings can inform the development of interventions for adolescents at risk.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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