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Schizophr Bull. 1996;22(2):223-40.

Risk factors of psychosis: identifying vulnerable populations premorbidly.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


This article reviews premorbid indicators of psychosis that may be relevant to primary intervention. These risk markers are divided into two categories: (1) precursors related to early etiological factors (family psychiatric history, perinatal and obstetric complications, neurobehavior deficits, early parental separation, institutionalization, and poor family function) and (2) precursors signaling latent mental illness (personality measurements indicating proneness to psychosis, and teacher ratings indicating emotional lability, social anxiety, social withdrawal, passivity, poor peer relations, and disruptive and aggressive behavior). Because teacher ratings have been shown to be powerful predictors of adult mental breakdown, part of this article focuses on a specific study that assesses such ratings as predictors of psychosis in a high-risk population. Risk indicators may also provide clues about protective factors relevant for primary prevention.

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