Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Early Adult Mental Health, Functional and Neuropsychological Outcomes of Young People who have reported Psychotic Experiences....pdf (1.14 MB)

Early adult mental health, functional and neuropsychological outcomes of young people who have reported psychotic experiences: a 10-year longitudinal study

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-02, 16:16 authored by Eleanor Carey, Diane GillanDiane Gillan, Colm Healy, Niamh DooleyNiamh Dooley, Donal Campbell, Josen McGrane, Aisling O'Neill, Helen CoughlanHelen Coughlan, Mary ClarkeMary Clarke, Ian KelleherIan Kelleher, Mary CannonMary Cannon

Background: Psychotic experiences (PE) are highly prevalent in childhood and are known to be associated with co-morbid mental health disorders and functional difficulties in adolescence. However, little is known about the long-term outcomes of young people who report PE.

Methods: As part of the Adolescent Brain Development Study, 211 young people were recruited in childhood (mean age 11.7 years) and underwent detailed clinical interviews, with 25% reporting PE. A 10 year follow-up study was completed and 103 participants returned (mean age 20.9 years). Structured clinical interviews for DSM-5 (SCID-5) and interviewer-rated assessments of functioning were conducted. A detailed neuropsychological battery was also administered. Analyses investigated group differences between those who had ever reported PE and controls in early adulthood.

Results: The PE group was at a significantly higher risk of meeting DSM-5 criteria for a current (OR 4.08, CI 1.16-14.29, p = 0.03) and lifetime psychiatric disorder (OR 3.27, CI 1.43-7.47, p = 0.005). They were also at a significantly higher risk of multi-morbid lifetime psychiatric disorders. Significantly lower scores on current social and global functioning measures were observed for the PE group. Overall, there were no differences in neuropsychological performance between groups apart from significantly lower scores on the Stroop Word task and the Purdue Pegboard task for the PE group.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that reports of PE are associated with poorer mental health and functional outcomes in early adulthood, with some persisting cognitive and motor deficits. Young people who report such symptoms could be considered a target group for interventions to aid functional outcomes.


European Research Council Consolidator Award (724809 iHEAR)

Health Professionals Fellowship from the Health Research Board

RCSI StAR studentship

HRB Health Research Award

RCSI StAR lectureship

Irish Research Council COALESCE Award



This article has been published in a revised form in Psychological Medicine This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © copyright holder.

Published Citation

Carey E. et al. Early adult mental health, functional and neuropsychological outcomes of young people who have reported psychotic experiences: a 10-year longitudinal study. Psychol Med. 2021;51(11):1861-1869

Publication Date

27 March 2020

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Psychiatry

Research Area

  • Endocrinology
  • Population Health and Health Services
  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders


Cambridge University Press (CUP)


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)