Tracking salience in young people: A psychometric field test of the Aberrant Salience Inventory (ASI)

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Abstract

Aim

To explore the prevalence of Aberrant Salience (AS, an alleged experiential feature of psychosis-proneness) in Italian young people and corroborate the transcultural validity of the Aberrant Salience Inventory (ASI).

Methods

Young adults attending an Italian university (n = 649) underwent serial evaluations with the ASI together with psychometric proxies for help seeking General Health Questionnaire and attenuated positive and negative symptoms Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). The distribution of ASI scores was explored with latent class analysis (LCA).

Results

Reliability of the Italian version of the ASI (I-ASI) was acceptable for all subscales (ordinal alpha >.70). Concurrent validity was in the expected direction, with higher correlations with measures of attenuated positive symptoms vs negative symptoms of psychosis (Steigers’ z test, P < .005 in all comparisons). LCA identified three classes, with 217 (33.4%) participants in the “high aberrant salience” class. Gender and age were not related to class membership. Compared to the baseline class, SPQ scores in the schizotypy range were more likely in the “high aberrant salience” class (OR = 39.1; 95%confidence interval: 5.30–288.1).

Conclusion

AS is a relatively common experience among Italian young people. The study also confirmed the validity of field-testing ASI as a tool for the real-world characterization of people with vulnerability to psychosis, such as symptomatic help seekers with clinical high-risk states.

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