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Psychopathology. 2012;45(6):374-80. doi: 10.1159/000337749. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Self-reported psychotic symptoms in the general population: correlates in an Iranian urban area.

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Psychiatry and Psychology Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Psychosis exists in the community as a continuum of severity. Here, we examine the correlates of self-reported psychotic symptoms in an urban catchment area of Iran.


Two thousand one hundred and fifty-eight participants (age 18-65 years) residing in southern Tehran (the capital city of Iran) were interviewed using the psychoticism and paranoia dimensions of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) to assess the severity of psychotic symptoms. Other dimensions of the SCL-90-R assessing nonpsychotic symptoms and a sociodemographic questionnaire were also used. Paykel's Interview for Recent Life Events was used to assess stressful life events.


Independent associations were observed between younger age, female gender, stressful life events and dimensions of depression, anxiety, hostility, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and interpersonal sensitivity and psychoticism. Independent associations were also observed for marital problems, unemployment, stressful life events and dimensions of depression, anxiety, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity and phobic anxiety with paranoid ideation. There was also a trend toward an association between higher educational levels and the severity of psychotic symptoms, particularly paranoid ideation.


Most of the previously accepted correlations for psychotic symptoms in the community were replicated. An unexpected association between paranoia and female gender, and a trend toward higher rates of psychotic symptoms in more educated participants, were in contrast with the studies in developed settings. The insufficient coverage of psychosis-relevant questions from the SCL-90-R for the entire psychotic diagnostic spectrum should be considered a limitation.

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