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Different Combinations of Perceptual, Emotional, and Cognitive Factors Predict Three Different Types of Delusional Ideation During Adolescence

Galbraith, Niall D. BSc, MSc, PhD*; Manktelow, Ken I. BA, PhD*; Chen-Wilson, Chao-Hwa BSc, PhD*; Harris, Rachael A. BSc, MSc; Nevill, Alan BSc, PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 2014 - Volume 202 - Issue 9 - p 668–676
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000179
Original Articles

Although adolescence is a particularly sensitive period for the development of schizotypy (Walker and Bollini [Schizophr Res 54:17–23, 2002]), there has been relatively limited research on the psychological factors that specifically predict delusional beliefs during adolescence. We studied 392 school students aged 11 to 16 years with a battery of behavioral and psychometric measures. Anxiety and negative-other schemas mediated the relationship between hallucinatory experiences and paranoid beliefs; anxiety mediated the relationship between hallucinatory experiences and grandiose beliefs; anxiety and self-negative schemas mediated the relationship between hallucinatory experiences and “other delusions” (Schneiderian/reference/misidentification). Furthermore, a jump-to-conclusions (JTC) bias moderated the relation between anxiety and other delusions: scores in the other delusions category were highest in adolescents who had both high anxiety and a JTC bias. Sex and age had only weak effects upon delusional belief. Our findings provide novel data by highlighting the different factors that underpin three delusional subtypes during the vulnerable period of adolescence.

*University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton; and †Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.

Send reprint requests to Niall D. Galbraith, BSc, MSc, PhD, Institute of Psychology (Room MH009), Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK, WV1 1LY. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins