A longitudinal investigation of childhood communication ability and adolescent psychotic experiences in a community sample

Sarah A Sullivan*, Linda I Hollen, Yvonne E Wren, Andrew Thompson, Glyn H Lewis, Stanley Zammit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

10 Citations (Scopus)
289 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background

Some childhood speech and language impairments precede psychosis but it is not clear whether they also precede adolescent psychotic experiences and whether this association is specific to psychotic experiences.

Methods

Pragmatic language and expressive speech and language (parent-assessed using the Children's Communication Checklist) at age 9 and psychotic experiences and depression at ages 12 and 18 were investigated in 7659 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Associations were investigated using multivariate modelling.

Results

Poorer pragmatic language at 9 years was associated with psychotic experiences at both ages (12 years OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.11, 1.34; 18 years OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.10, 1.41) but only with depression at 18 years (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.00, 1.22). Poorer expressive speech and language ability was not associated with psychotic experiences or depression at either age. There was evidence that pragmatic language was specifically associated with psychotic experiences at age 12 but no evidence that the strength of any of the associations changed over time.

Conclusions

Deficits in pragmatic language precede early and late adolescent psychotic experiences and early adolescent depression. Interventions aimed at helping children improve pragmatic language skills may reduce the incidence of adolescent psychopathology and associated psychological disorder and dysfunction later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume173
Issue number1-2
Early online date10 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Pragmatic language
  • Expressive speech and language
  • Adolescent psychotic experiences
  • Adolescent depression
  • ALSPAC

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