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Purpose: Studies of psychotic-like experiences ( PLEs ) within community samples of adolescents have explored predominantly positive experiences. There is a paucity of research examining the prevalence and correlates of negative PLEs, and whether particular subtypes of negative PLEs can be identified among the general population of adolescents. This study examined the association of both positive and negative PLEs with depressive symptoms, including detailed analysis of subtypes of positive and negative psychosis dimensions. Method: A community sample of 777 adolescents ( 50.9% girls: mean age 14.4 years ) completed a questionnaire assessing positive and negative PLEs and depressive symptoms. Results: Principal component factor analysis identified four factors of positive symptoms ( persecutory ideation, grandiose thinking, first-rank/hallucinatory experiences and self-referential thinking ), and three factors of negative symptoms ( social withdrawal, affective flattening, and avolition ). Depressive symptoms were associated positively with persecutory ideation, first-rank/hallucinatory experiences, social withdrawal, and avolition, whereas grandiose thinking related negatively with depressive symptoms. Neither self-referential thinking nor affective flattening related to self-reported depression. Conclusions: These findings support the view that not all types of positive and negative PLEs in adolescence are associated with depression and, therefore, they may not confer the same vulnerability for psychotic disorders.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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