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School mobility and prospective pathways to psychotic-like symptoms in early adolescence: a prospective birth cohort study

Singh, Swaran P., Winsper, Catherine, Wolke, Dieter and Bryson, Alex (2014) School mobility and prospective pathways to psychotic-like symptoms in early adolescence: a prospective birth cohort study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53 (5). 518-527.e1. ISSN 0890-8567

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jaac.2014.01.016


Objective Social adversity and urban upbringing increase the risk of psychosis. We tested the hypothesis that these risks may be partly attributable to school mobility and examined the potential pathways linking school mobility to psychotic-like symptoms. Method A community sample of 6,448 mothers and their children born between 1991 and 1992 were assessed for psychosocial adversities (i.e., ethnicity, urbanicity, family adversity) from birth to 2 years, school and residential mobility up to 9 years, and peer difficulties (i.e., bullying involvement and friendship difficulties) at 10 years. Psychotic-like symptoms were assessed at age 12 years using the Psychosis-like Symptoms Interview (PLIKSi). Results In regression analyses, school mobility was significantly associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms (odds ratio [OR] =1.60; 95% CI =1.07–2.38) after controlling for all confounders. Within path analyses, school mobility (probit coefficient [β] = 0.108; p = .039), involvement in bullying (β = 0.241; p < .001), urbanicity (β = 0.342; p = .016), and family adversity (β = 0.034; p < .001) were all independently associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms. School mobility was indirectly associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms via involvement in bullying (β = 0.018; p = .034). Conclusions School mobility is associated with increased risk of psychotic-like symptoms, both directly and indirectly. The findings highlight the potential benefit of strategies to help mobile students to establish themselves within new school environments to reduce peer difficulties and to diminish the risk of psychotic-like symptoms. Awareness of mobile students as a possible high-risk population, and routine inquiry regarding school changes and bullying experiences, may be advisable in mental health care settings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Crown Copyright. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2014 11:26
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2024 07:00
Projects: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
Funders: UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, University of Bristol

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