Prevalence and correlates of psychotic experiences amongst children of depressed parents

Rhys Bevan Jones, Becky Mars, Stephan Collishaw, Robert Potter, Ajay Thapar, Nick Craddock, Anita Thapar, Stanley Zammit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
280 Downloads (Pure)


Psychotic experiences in young people are substantially more common than psychotic disorders, and are associated with distress and functional impairment. Family history of depression as well as of schizophrenia increases risk for psychotic experiences, but the prevalence of such experiences and their clinical relevance in offspring of depressed parents is unknown. Our objectives were to explore i) the prevalence of psychotic experiences amongst offspring of parents with recurrent unipolar depression and ii) the relationship between psychotic experiences and other psychopathology. Data were drawn from the 'Early Prediction of Adolescent Depression' longitudinal study of high-risk offspring (aged 9-17 years at baseline) of 337 parents with recurrent depression. Three assessments were conducted over four years. Psychopathology was assessed using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment. Seventy-eight percent of families (n=262) had complete data on psychotic experiences at each of the three time points. During the study, 8.4% (n=22; 95% CI 5.0%, 11.8%) of offspring reported psychotic experiences on at least one occasion, and these were associated with psychiatric disorder, specifically mood and disruptive disorders, and suicidal thoughts/behaviour. Psychotic experiences amongst offspring of depressed parents index a range of psychopathology. Further research is needed to examine their clinical significance and long-term consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-6
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016

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