Impact of "psychosis risk" identification: Examining predictors of how youth view themselves.

Document Type


Publication Date



Maine Medical Center Research Institute; Psychology

Journal Title

Schizophrenia research

MeSH Headings

Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Feedback, Psychological, Female, Humans, Identification, Psychological, Male, Psychotic Disorders, Risk, Self Concept, Social Stigma, Young Adult


BACKGROUND: Identifying young people as at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis affords opportunities for intervention to possibly prevent psychosis onset. Yet such CHR identification could plausibly increase stigma. We do not know whether these youth already perceive themselves to be at psychosis-risk (PR) or how their being told they are at PR might impact how they think about themselves.

METHODS: 148 CHR youth were asked about labels they had been given by others (labeling by others) or with which they personally identified (self-labeling). They were then asked which had the greatest impact on how they thought about themselves. We evaluated whether being told vs. thinking they were at PR had stronger effects.

FINDINGS: The majority identified nonpsychotic disorders rather than PR labels as having the greatest impact on sense of self (67.6% vs. 27.7%). However, participants who identified themselves as at PR had an 8.8 (95% CI = 2.0-39.1) increase in the odds of the PR label having the greatest impact (p < 0.01). Additionally, having been told by others that they were at PR was associated with a 4.0 increase in odds (95% CI = 1.1-15.0) that the PR label had the most impact (p < 0.05).

INTERPRETATION: Nonpsychotic disorder labels appear to have a greater impact on CHR youth than psychosis-risk labels. However, thinking they are at PR, and, secondarily, being told they are at PR, appears to increase the relative impact of the PR label. Understanding self- and other-labeling may be important to how young people think of themselves, and may inform early intervention strategies.



First Page


Last Page