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IQ and non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds: results from the ALSPAC birth cohort

Horwood, J., Salvi, G., Thomas, K., Duffy, L., Gunnell, D., Hollis, C., Lewis, G., Menezes, P., Thompson, A., Wolke, D., Zammit, Stanley and Harrison, G. 2008. IQ and non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds: results from the ALSPAC birth cohort. British Journal of Psychiatry 193 (3) , pp. 185-191. 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.051904

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Non-clinical psychotic symptoms appear common in children, but it is possible that a proportion of reported symptoms result from misinterpretation. There is a well-established association between pre-morbid low IQ score and schizophrenia. Psychosis-like symptoms in children may also be a risk factor for psychotic disorder but their relationship with IQ is unclear. AIMS: To investigate the prevalence, nature and frequency of psychosis-like symptoms in 12-year-old children and study their relationship with IQ. METHOD: Longitudinal study using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort. A total of 6455 children completed screening questions for 12 psychotic symptoms followed by a semi-structured clinical assessment. IQ was assessed at 8 years of age using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (3rd UK edition). RESULTS: The 6-month period prevalence for one or more symptoms was 13.7% (95% CI 12.8-14.5). After adjustment for confounding variables, there was a non-linear association between IQ score and psychosis-like symptoms, such that only those with below average IQ score had an increased risk of reporting such symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Non-clinical psychotic symptoms occur in a significant proportion of 12-year-olds. Symptoms are associated with low IQ and also less strongly with a high IQ score. The pattern of association with IQ differs from that observed in schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:39
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/81977

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