Disturbances of the basic self and prodromal symptoms among young adolescents from the community: A pilot population-based study.


Background and Goal: Recent findings have provided preliminary support for the notion that basic self-disturbances (SD) are related to prodromal symptoms among nonpsychotic help-seeking adolescents. As a sizable proportion of adolescents who are at risk do not seek help, this study attempts to assess the extent to which these findings can be generalized to the entire population of adolescents who are at risk for psychosis. Method: The concurrent relationship between SD and prodromal symptoms was explored in a sample of 100 non-help-seeking adolescents (age 13-15) from the community. SD were assessed with the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE); prodromal symptoms and syndromes were assessed with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS); psychosocial functioning was assessed with the ‘Social and Role Global Functioning Scales’; and level of distress with the Mood and Anxiety States Questionnaire (MASQ). Results: SD significantly correlated with sub-clinical psychotic symptoms (r = .70, P < .0001). This correlation was significantly stronger than those of SD with mood symptoms and social functioning. Finally, SD was the single best concurrent predictor of prodromal symptoms and syndromes. Conclusions: These results provide preliminary support for the generalizability of the association between SD and prodromal symptoms for the entire population of adolescents who are clinically at high risk for psychosis. In addition, they further support the notion that this association is both specific and unique.