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Precursors and correlates of transient and persistent longitudinal profiles of psychotic experiences from late childhood through early adulthood

Rammos, Alexandros, Sullivan, Sarah A., Kounali, Daphne, Jones, Hannah J., Hammerton, Gemma, Hines, Lindsey A., Lewis, Glyn, Jones, Peter B., Cannon, Mary, Thompson, Andrew, Wolke, Dieter, Heron, Jon and Zammit, Stanley ORCID: 2022. Precursors and correlates of transient and persistent longitudinal profiles of psychotic experiences from late childhood through early adulthood. British Journal of Psychiatry 220 (6) , pp. 330-338. 10.1192/bjp.2021.145

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Background Psychotic experiences are reported by 5–10% of young people, although only a minority persist and develop into psychotic disorders. It is unclear what characteristics differentiate those with transient psychotic experiences from those with persistent psychotic experiences that are more likely to be of clinical relevance. Aims To investigate how longitudinal profiles of psychotic experiences, created from assessments at three different time points, are influenced by early life and co-occurring factors. Method Using data from 8045 individuals from a birth cohort study, longitudinal profiles of psychotic experiences based on semi-structured interviews conducted at 12, 18 and 24 years were defined. Environmental, cognitive, psychopathological and genetic determinants of these profiles were investigated, along with concurrent changes in psychopathology and cognition. Results Following multiple imputations, the distribution of longitudinal profiles of psychotic experiences was none (65.7%), transient (24.1%), low-frequency persistent (8.4%) and high-frequency persistent (1.7%). Individuals with high-frequency persistent psychotic experiences were more likely to report traumatic experiences, other psychopathology, a more externalised locus of control, reduced emotional stability and conscientious personality traits in childhood, compared with those with transient psychotic experiences. These characteristics also differed between those who had any psychotic experiences and those who did not. Conclusions These findings indicate that the same risk factors are associated with incidence as with persistence of psychotic experiences. Thus, it might be that the severity of exposure, rather than the presence of specific disease-modifying factors, is most likely to determine whether psychotic experiences are transient or persist, and potentially develop into a clinical disorder over time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 28 August 2021
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 12:57

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