Influence of demographic characteristics on attenuated positive psychotic symptoms in a young, help-seeking, at-risk population

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Presentation of attenuated positive psychotic symptoms (APS) was reported to be modestly influenced by age, sex and education in a psychosis-risk sample. We re-examined the influence of demographic variables on APS in an independent psychosis-risk sample.


In a clinical high-risk-sample (N = 188; 13-35 years; 60.1% men), bivariate correlations were examined with Spearman correlations. All other associations were computed with generalized linear models.


Inter-correlations between positive symptoms were statistically significant for all but the smallest coefficient (range: r = 0.12-0.49). Age was negatively related to APS (range: OR = 0.53-0.78, all P < .01). Male sex was uniquely related to disorganized communication (OR = 1.46) and a high education-level related negatively to suspiciousness/persecutory ideas (OR = 0.64), perceptual abnormalities/hallucinations (OR = 0.57) and disorganized communication (OR = 0.54). The variance explained by age ranged from R2 = 0.044 for unusual thought content to R2 = 0.144 for perceptual abnormalities.


Our results highlighted the role of age and, thereby, neurodevelopment in psychosis-risk assessment.

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