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Measuring Psychotic-like Experiences in Childhood

JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Jun 6; Karcher, et al

In a recent validation study of a cohort of children aged 9 to 10 years, the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief Child Version (PQ-BC) demonstrated adequate internal reliability and measurement invariance across race/ethnicity and sex when used as a measure of psychotic-like experiences in childhood. In addition, evidence of construct validity was found, with higher scores associated with a family history of psychotic disorder, greater internalizing symptoms, neuropsychological test performance deficits, and developmental milestone delays. This study used data from the first wave of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a prospective longitudinal study aimed at assessing risk factors associated with adverse physical and mental health outcomes from childhood into late adolescence and early adulthood. Researchers found:

  • The study analyses included 3,984 participants (1,885 girls [47.3%] and 2,099 boys [52.7%]; mean [SE] age,‚ÄČ10.0 [0.01] years).
  • A family history of psychotic disorder was associated with higher mean (SE) PQ-BC Total and Distress scores, whereas a family history of depression or mania was not.
  • Higher PQ-BC scores were associated with higher rates of child-rated internalizing symptoms, neuropsychological test performance deficits such as working memory, and motor and speech developmental milestone delays.


Karcher NR, Barch DM, Avenevoli S, et al. Assessment of the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief Child Version for measurement of self-reported psychoticlike experiences in childhood. [Published online ahead of print June 6, 2018]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1334.