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Early Interv Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;2(4):268-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2008.00088.x.

Parent attitudes and parent adolescent interaction in families of youth at risk for psychosis and with recent-onset psychotic symptoms.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



This study investigated the behavioural correlates of caregiver attitudes among parents of youth at risk for psychosis and with recent-onset psychotic symptoms.


Forty adolescents identified as ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis using the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, and their primary caregivers, participated in the Family Interaction Task (FIT), a 10-minute discussion of meaningful shared experiences that allowed families to demonstrate supportive as well as conflict-engaging behaviour. At the same assessment, caregivers were administered the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI). We examined cross-sectional relationships between these measures, as well as their association with youth symptom severity and functioning at 4-month follow-up.


As predicted, caregivers who provided more positive remarks regarding their UHR and recent-onset adolescents during the CFI were also more likely to exhibit constructive behaviour during the FIT. Similarly, CFI critical comments were positively associated with caregivers' conflict-engaging behaviour during the FIT. Parents' positive remarks predicted a decrease in negative symptoms, and parent warmth predicted an increase in social functioning at follow-up assessment.


The ability to maintain a constructive attitude and approach towards youth predicted symptomatic and functional improvement, and may be a teachable skill.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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