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.
- Delusional ideation
- jump-to-conclusions bias