Metacognition and psychopathology: An investigation of the development of metacognitive processes and their implications in psychotic symptoms in adolescents.

Poster A15, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Antonio Cozzi1, Ruggero Brazzale1, Yuri Maddalena1, Lucia Brazzale1; 1Italian Public Mental Health Department - Veneto Region

Background: Adolescence is a delicate time when youths deal with new developmental challenges. Among the typical changes of this phase, there is the development of cognitive and metacognitive processes and styles. This phase is crucial as it may show the onset of different psychological disorders. At this stage, first anxiety and depressive episodes are recurring, as well as other non-specific symptoms that may lead to Psychosis. While in scientific literature there is strong evidence that underpins the role of metacognitive features in Depression, Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, recent studies support their implication also in psychotic symptoms and disorders. Most of these studies’ limits is that they have been conducted on adult samples, focusing on structured psychotic syndromes. Aims: The purpose of the present study is to examine the development of metacognitive components and their link to different clinical symptoms in youths. Our hypothesis is that metacognitive factors are already active in early psychopathology. Specifically, we expect that these metacognitive styles are linked to psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, paranoia, etc.) as well as to others (depression, anxiety, OCD symptoms). If our hypothesis is confirmed, it may lead to new early intervention pathways. Furthermore, we want to examine if there are specific socio-demographic features and life stressors influencing the development of metacognitive factors. Method: We administered clinical and metacognitive questionnaires investigating specific styles and processes – such as worry, rumination, intolerance of uncertainty etc. – in a large general sample of adolescents from 15 to 19 years old, recruited in different italian schools.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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