Skip to main content
×
Home

Prevalence of psychotic symptoms in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies

  • I. Kelleher (a1), D. Connor (a1), M. C. Clarke (a1), N. Devlin (a1) (a2), M. Harley (a1) (a2) and M. Cannon (a1) (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Psychotic symptoms occur more frequently in the general population than psychotic disorder and index risk for psychopathology. Multiple studies have reported on the prevalence of these symptoms using self-report questionnaires or clinical interviews but there is a lack of consensus about the prevalence of psychotic symptoms among children and adolescents.

Method

We conducted a systematic review of all published literature on psychotic symptom prevalence in two age groups, children aged 9–12 years and adolescents aged 13–18 years, searching through electronic databases PubMed, Ovid Medline, PsycINFO and EMBASE up to June 2011, and extracted prevalence rates.

Results

We identified 19 population studies that reported on psychotic symptom prevalence among children and adolescents. The median prevalence of psychotic symptoms was 17% among children aged 9–12 years and 7.5% among adolescents aged 13–18 years.

Conclusions

Psychotic symptoms are relatively common in young people, especially in childhood. Prevalence is higher in younger (9–12 years) compared to older (13–18 years) children.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr I. Kelleher or Professor M. Cannon, Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Education and Research Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland. (Email: iankelleher@rcsi.ie) (Email: marycannon@rcsi.ie)
References
Hide All
Addington J, Cornblatt BA, Cadenhead KS, Cannon TD, McGlashan TH, Perkins DO, Seidman LJ, Tsuang MT, Walker EF, Woods SW, Heinssen R (2011). At clinical high risk for psychosis: outcome for nonconverters. American Journal of Psychiatry 168, 800805.
Alemany S, Arias B, Aguilera M, Villa H, Moya J, Ibanez MI, Vossen H, Gasto C, Ortet G, Fananas L (2011). Childhood abuse, the BDNF-Val66Met polymorphism and adult psychotic-like experiences. British Journal of Psychiatry 199, 3842.
Barragan M, Laurens KR, Navarro JB, Obiols JE (2011). Psychotic-like experiences and depressive symptoms in a community sample of adolescents. European Psychiatry 26, 396401.
Bartels-Velthuis AA, Jenner JA, van de Willige G, van Os J, Wiersma D (2010). Prevalence and correlates of auditory vocal hallucinations in middle childhood. British Journal of Psychiatry 196, 4146.
Bartels-Velthuis AA, van de Willige G, Jenner JA, van Os J, Wiersma D (2011). Course of auditory vocal hallucinations in childhood: 5-year follow-up study. British Journal of Psychiatry. Published online: 27 June 2011. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.086918.
Blanchard MM, Jacobson S, Clarke MC, Connor D, Kelleher I, Garavan H, Harley M, Cannon M (2010). Language, motor and speed of processing deficits in adolescents with subclinical psychotic symptoms. Schizophrenia Research 123, 7176.
Cullen AE, Dickson H, West SA, Morris RG, Mould GL, Hodgins S, Murray RM, Laurens KR (2010). Neurocognitive performance in children aged 9-12 years who present putative antecedents of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 121, 1523.
De Loore E, Gunther N, Drukker M, Feron F, Sabbe B, Deboutte D, van Os J, Myin-Germeys I (2011). Persistence and outcome of auditory hallucinations in adolescence: a longitudinal general population study of 1800 individuals. Schizophrenia Research 127, 252256.
Dhossche D, Ferdinand R, Van der Ende J, Hofstra MB, Verhulst F (2002). Diagnostic outcome of self-reported hallucinations in a community sample of adolescents. Psychological Medicine 32, 619627.
Dominguez MD, Wichers M, Lieb R, Wittchen HU, van Os J (2011). Evidence that onset of clinical psychosis is an outcome of progressively more persistent subclinical psychotic experiences: an 8-year cohort study. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37, 8493.
Hanssen M, Peeters F, Krabbendam L, Radstake S, Verdoux H, van Os J (2003). How psychotic are individuals with non-psychotic disorders? Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 38, 149154.
Horwood J, Salvi G, Thomas K, Duffy L, Gunnell D, Hollis C, Lewis G, Menezes P, Thompson A, Wolke D, Zammit S, Harrison G (2008). IQ and non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds: results from the ALSPAC birth cohort. British Journal of Psychiatry 193, 185191.
Jacobson S, Kelleher I, Harley M, Murtagh A, Clarke M, Blanchard M, Connolly C, O'Hanlon E, Garavan H, Cannon M (2010). Structural and functional brain correlates of subclinical psychotic symptoms in 11–13 year old schoolchildren. NeuroImage 49, 18751885.
Johns LC, Cannon M, Singleton N, Murray RM, Farrell M, Brugha T, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Meltzer H (2004). Prevalence and correlates of self-reported psychotic symptoms in the British population. British Journal of Psychiatry 185, 298305.
Kelleher I, Cannon M (2011). Psychotic-like experiences in the general population: characterizing a high-risk group for psychosis. Psychological Medicine 41, 16.
Kelleher I, Harley M, Lynch F, Arseneault L, Fitzpatrick C, Cannon M (2008). Associations between childhood trauma, bullying and psychotic symptoms among a school-based adolescent sample. British Journal of Psychiatry 193, 378382.
Kelleher I, Harley M, Murtagh A, Cannon M (2011 a). Are screening instruments valid for psychotic-like experiences? A validation study of screening questions for psychotic-like experiences using in-depth clinical interview. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37, 362369.
Kelleher I, Jenner JA, Cannon M (2010). Psychotic symptoms in the general population – an evolutionary perspective. British Journal of Psychiatry 197, 167169.
Kelleher I, Keeley H, Corcoran P, Lynch F, Fitzpatrick C, Devlin N, Molloy C, Roddy S, Clarke MC, Harley M, Arseneault L, Wasserman C, Carli V, Sarchiapone M, Hoven CW, Wasserman C, Cannon M (in press). What is the clinicopathological significance of psychotic symptoms in non-psychotic young people? Evidence from 4 population studies. British Journal of Psychiatry.
Kelleher I, Murtagh A, Molloy C, Roddy S, Clarke MC, Harley M, Cannon M (2011 b). Identification and characterization of prodromal risk syndromes in young adolescents in the community: a population-based clinical interview study. Schizophrenia Bulletin. Published online: 17 November 2011. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbr164.
Kinoshita Y, Shimodera S, Nishida A, Kinoshita K, Watanabe N, Oshima N, Akechi T, Sasaki T, Inoue S, Furukawa TA, Okazaki Y (2011). Psychotic-like experiences are associated with violent behavior in adolescents. Schizophrenia Research 126, 245251.
Lataster T, van Os J, Drukker M, Henquet C, Feron F, Gunther N, Myin-Germeys I (2006). Childhood victimisation and developmental expression of non-clinical delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences: victimisation and non-clinical psychotic experiences. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 41, 423428.
Laurens KR, Hobbs MJ, Sunderland M, Green MJ, Mould GL (2011). Psychotic-like experiences in a community sample of 8000 children aged 9 to 11 years: an item response theory analysis. Psychological Medicine. Published online: 17 October 2011. doi: 10.1017/S0033291711002108.
Laurens KR, Hodgins S, Mould GL, West SA, Schoenberg PL, Murray RM, Taylor EA (2010). Error-related processing dysfunction in children aged 9 to 12 years presenting putative antecedents of schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 67, 238245.
Lencz T, Smith CW, Auther A, Correll CU, Cornblatt B (2004). Nonspecific and attenuated negative symptoms in patients at clinical high-risk for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 68, 3748.
Linscott RJ, van Os J (2010). Systematic reviews of categorical versus continuum models in psychosis: evidence for discontinuous subpopulations underlying a psychometric continuum. Implications for DSM-V, DSM-VI, and DSM-VII. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 6, 391419.
Mackie CJ, Castellanos-Ryan N, Conrod PJ (2011). Developmental trajectories of psychotic-like experiences across adolescence: impact of victimization and substance use. Psychological Medicine 41, 4758.
MacManus D, Laurens KR, Walker EF, Brasfield JL, Riaz M, Hodgins S (2012). Movement abnormalities and psychotic-like experiences in childhood: markers of developing schizophrenia? Psychological Medicine 42, 99–109.
Mittal VA, Dean DJ, Pelletier A, Caligiuri M (2011). Associations between spontaneous movement abnormalities and psychotic-like experiences in the general population. Schizophrenia Research 132, 194196.
Nishida A, Tanii H, Nishimura Y, Kajiki N, Inoue K, Okada M, Sasaki T, Okazaki Y (2008). Associations between psychotic-like experiences and mental health status and other psychopathologies among Japanese early teens. Schizophrenia Research 99, 125133.
Polanczyk G, Moffitt TE, Arseneault L, Cannon M, Ambler A, Keefe RS, Houts R, Odgers CL, Caspi A (2010). Etiological and clinical features of childhood psychotic symptoms: results from a birth cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry 67, 328338.
Poulton R, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Cannon M, Murray R, Harrington H (2000). Children's self-reported psychotic symptoms and adult schizophreniform disorder: a 15-year longitudinal study. Archives of General Psychiatry 57, 10531058.
Rossler W, Hengartner MP, Ajdacic-Gross V, Haker H, Gamma A, Angst J (2011). Sub-clinical psychosis symptoms in young adults are risk factors for subsequent common mental disorders. Schizophrenia Research 131, 1823.
Saha S, Chant D, McGrath J (2008). Meta-analyses of the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia: conceptual and methodological issues. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 17, 5561.
Scott J, Martin G, Bor W, Sawyer M, Clark J, McGrath J (2009 a). The prevalence and correlates of hallucinations in Australian adolescents: results from a national survey. Schizophrenia Research 107, 179185.
Scott J, Martin G, Welham J, Bor W, Najman J, O'Callaghan M, Williams G, Aird R, McGrath J (2009 b). Psychopathology during childhood and adolescence predicts delusional-like experiences in adults: a 21-year birth cohort study. American Journal of Psychiatry 166, 567574.
Shea BJ, Grimshaw JM, Wells GA, Boers M, Andersson N, Hamel C, Porter AC, Tugwell P, Moher D, Bouter LM (2007). Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology 15, 10.
van Os J, Linscott RJ, Myin-Germeys I, Delespaul P, Krabbendam L (2009). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the psychosis continuum: evidence for a psychosis proneness-persistence-impairment model of psychotic disorder. Psychological Medicine 39, 179195.
Varghese D, Scott J, Welham J, Bor W, Najman J, O'Callaghan M, Williams G, McGrath J (2011). Psychotic-like experiences in major depression and anxiety disorders: a population-based survey in young adults. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37, 389393.
Welham J, Scott J, Williams G, Najman J, Bor W, O'Callaghan M, McGrath J (2009). Emotional and behavioural antecedents of young adults who screen positive for non-affective psychosis: a 21-year birth cohort study. Psychological Medicine 39, 625634.
Wigman JT, Vollebergh WA, Raaijmakers QA, Iedema J, van Dorsselaer S, Ormel J, Verhulst FC, van Os J (2011). The structure of the extended psychosis phenotype in early adolescence – a cross-sample replication. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37, 850860.
Yoshizumi T, Murase S, Honjo S, Kaneko H, Murakami T (2004). Hallucinatory experiences in a community sample of Japanese children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 43, 10301036.
Yung AR, Nelson B, Baker K, Buckby JA, Baksheev G, Cosgrave EM (2009). Psychotic-like experiences in a community sample of adolescents: implications for the continuum model of psychosis and prediction of schizophrenia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 43, 118128.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Kelleher Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material – AMSTAR

 Word (56 KB)
56 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 46
Total number of PDF views: 365 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1692 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.