Frequent school moves can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in early adolescence

February 18, 2014, University of Warwick
Frequent school moves can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in early adolescence

Researchers at Warwick Medical School have shown that frequently moving schools during childhood can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in later years.

The study, published in the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that school mobility during heightens the risk of developing psychotic-like in early adolescence by up to 60%.

Suffering from psychotic-like symptoms at young age is strongly associated with in adulthood, including and suicide.

Professor Swaran Singh, who led the study, explained, "Changing schools can be very stressful for students. Our study found that the process of moving schools may itself increase the risk of – independent of other factors. But additionally, being involved in bullying, sometimes as a consequence of repeated school moves, may exacerbate risk for the individual."

At the age of 12, participants in the study were interviewed to assess for the presence of psychotic-like symptoms including hallucinations, delusions and thought interference in the previous six months. Those that had moved school three or more times were found to be 60% more likely to display at least one definite psychotic symptom.

The authors suggested that moving schools often may lead to feelings of low self-esteem and a sense of social defeat. This feeling of being excluded from the majority could also render physiological consequences leading to sensitisation of the mesolimbic dopamine system, heightening the risk of psychotic-like symptoms in vulnerable individuals.

Dr Cath Winsper, Senior Research Fellow at Warwick Medical School and part of the study group said, "It's clear that we need to keep school mobility in mind when clinically assessing young people with psychotic disorders. It should be explored as a matter of course as the impact can be both serious and potentially long lasting. Schools should develop strategies to help these students to establish themselves in their new environment."

Explore further: Childhood bullying shown to increase likelihood of psychotic experiences in later life

Related Stories

Childhood bullying shown to increase likelihood of psychotic experiences in later life

December 17, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New research has shown that being exposed to bullying during childhood will lead to an increased risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood, regardless of whether they are victims or perpetrators.

Cognitive development 'growth charts' may help diagnose and treat psychosis-risk kids

February 11, 2014
Penn Medicine researchers have developed a better way to assess and diagnose psychosis in young children. By "growth charting" cognitive development alongside the presentation of psychotic symptoms, they have demonstrated ...

New evidence shows link between childhood trauma and psychotic experiences

July 11, 2013
Researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) have demonstrated that exposure to childhood trauma (physical assault and bullying) is linked to psychotic experiences, (such as hearing voices), and in turn ...

Children's brain processing speed indicates risk of psychosis

April 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New research from Cardiff and Bristol universities shows that children whose brains process information more slowly than their peers are at greater risk of psychotic experiences.

Recommended for you

People with prosthetic arms less affected by common illusion

January 22, 2018
People with prosthetic arms or hands do not experience the "size-weight illusion" as strongly as other people, new research shows.

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.