Developmental Milestones, Childhood Behavior and Schizophrenia Spectrum Symptomatology: An Investigation of Psychometrically Identified Putative Schizotypes

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2006-12-11

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The present study assessed retrospectively rated childhood abnormalities of development and behavior in individuals identified as having increased risk for schizophrenia using the psychometric high-risk paradigm. It was hypothesized that social anhedonics would have significantly more childhood behavior problems and developmental milestone delays than controls, and that anhedonics with greater childhood problems and developmental delays would display elevated levels of schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms. Examining proband reports, social anhedonics endorsed greater internalizing, thought, and total problems than controls. Analysis of mother reports revealed ratings of increased internalizing problems among social anhedonics. Mother ratings exhibited a trend toward significance for delayed walking in the social anhedonic group (d=.59). For social anhedonics, proband and mother rated childhood behavior problems correlated with clinician-rated schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms, assessed at age 18. These findings indicate the presence of childhood behavior problems in social anhedonics and suggest an association between these early behavior problems and current clinical symptoms within the putative high-risk group.

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