Psychotic-like experiences and associated socio-demographic factorsamong adolescents in China

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa



Adolescents with persistent psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) may be at high risk for later development of psychoses. Exploring early age risk factors for PLEs may provide useful information for prevention of mental disorders and improvement of mental health.


A total of 5427 adolescents (aged between 10 and 16) participated in a cross-sectional survey, with social and demographic information collected. The Positive Subscale of Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) was used to measure PLEs, and the CAPE Depressive and Negative Subscales were used to examine depressive and negative experiences. The Trauma History Questionnaire (child version) was used to assess experiences of previous traumatic events.


In our study, 95.7% of the adolescents reported more than one episode of PLEs, while 17.2% reported “nearly always” having PLEs. High positive correlations were shown both between frequency scores among experiences of three dimensions (PLEs, depressive and negative experiences), and between frequency and distress scores. Factors associated with a higher risk for more frequent and distressing PLEs include: urban setting, family history of psychiatric illnesses, and higher impact from previous traumatic events at present.


Episodes of PLEs are common in Chinese adolescents, however only a small proportion have persistent PLEs, with worsening distress as the frequency increased. PLEs shared similar environmental and genetic risk factors not only with the clinical phenotypes, which is consistent with the continuity model of PLEs, but also with depressive and negative experiences, which may imply etiologic relation between different dimensions of psychosis at the subclinical level


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Schizophrenia Research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.