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Associations Among Metacognitive Beliefs, Anxiety and Positive Schizotypy During Adolescence

Debbané, Martin PhD*†; Van der Linden, Martial PhD; Balanzin, Dario MD; Billieux, Joël PhD; Eliez, Stephan MD, PhD†§

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 7 - p 620–626
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31825bfc1a
Original Articles

The expression of early delusion and hallucination-like symptoms, known as positive schizotypy (PS), holds predictive power for later development of psychotic disorders. However, little is known about the psychological and emotional processes promoting the expression of PS during adolescent development. Our study’s objective was to examine the nature of the relationships between adolescent PS and two dimensions previously identified to contribute to adult positive symptoms of psychosis, metacognitive beliefs and anxiety. Using a structural equation modeling design, data from self-report questionnaires measuring anxiety, metacognitive beliefs, and PS were collected from 179 adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. Our results indicate that although metacognitive beliefs significantly influence adolescent PS and anxiety, maladaptive contradictory metacognitive beliefs specifically potentiate positive schizotypal expression in hallucination-prone adolescents. Furthermore, we observe that PS and anxiety entertain reciprocal relationships. These findings suggest that relationships between metacognitive beliefs, anxiety, and PS can already be observed during adolescence.

*Adolescence Clinical Psychology Unit, Faculty of Psychology; †Office Médico-Pédagogique Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; ‡Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, Faculty of Psychology; and §Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, School of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Send reprint requests to Martin Debbané, PhD, Adolescence Clinical Psychology Unit, Faculty of Psychology, University of Geneva, Switzerland, Boulevard du Pont d’Arve 40, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.