Psychotic-Like-Experiences, Magical Thinking and Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior in a Family High-Risk Study

Poster C2, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Maria Henriksen1, Cindy Liu1,2, Elena Molokotos1,3, Raquelle Mesholam-Gately1,2, John Gabrieli4, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli4, Matcheri Keshavan1,2, Larry Seidman1,2; 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Harvard Medical School, 3Suffolk University, 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Magical thinking and fantasy are a common part of childhood and they also share some similarities with Psychotic-Like Experiences (PLEs). However, PLEs confer increased risk for later psychotic disorder. In this study, we investigated the associations between PLEs, magical thinking, externalizing and internalizing behavior in biological children of healthy parents (HC: healthy controls) and of parents with a diagnosis of psychosis (FHR: family-high risk). FHR and HC samples were matched on age, education, race, and sex, with a sample consisting of 17 HC and 18 FHR ages 7-12. The measures administered included: Psychotic-Like Experiences (PLE), Magical Thinking Questionnaire (MTQ), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and Child Behavioral Checklist (CBCL). No significant group differences were detected in reported PLEs or magical thinking. T-tests comparing groups revealed more internalizing and externalizing problems in FHR compared to HC children. Partial correlations, controlling for SES indicated that some associations between PLE and subscales of the CBCL, IRI and MTQ differed according to group. Fisher’s R-to-Z tests indicated a significant or marginal difference between the two groups on only the associations between PLE and IRI Personal Distress and PLE and CBCL Externalizing. Our results indicate that PLEs may be associated with a different set of experiences and behaviors in FHR and HC children. It is possible that PLEs in FHR and HC subjects may be related to distinct mechanisms. More studies are needed to determine extent to which some profiles of psychosis-like experiences and magical thinking may be more predictive of later problematic outcomes by group.

Topic Area: Psychosis NOS

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