of Israeli Adolescents At-Risk for Schizophrenia
from the Jerusalem Infant Development Study (Hans, Auerbach,
Asarnow, Styr, and Marcus, 2000) demonstrated the utility
of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) for assessing youths at risk
for schizophrenia. They used the YSR and the Social Adjustment
Inventory for Children and Adolescents (SAICA) (John et
al., 1987) to assess 27 adolescent offspring of schizophrenics,
30 offspring of parents with affective or personality disorders,
and 29 offspring of parents with no psychiatric diagnoses.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether adolescents
at high risk for schizophrenia manifested more social adjustment
problems than adolescents at risk for other psychiatric
disorders or those without familial disorders. Offspring
of schizophrenic parents obtained significantly higher YSR
Social Problems scores than adolescents in the other two
groups, a finding that remained significant after controlling
for present psychiatric disorder. YSR items that were significantly
higher in the schizophrenia risk group included acts young,
clings, teased, not liked, and withdrawn. Youths at risk
for schizophrenia did not differ from the other adolescents
on YSR Activities, Social, Withdrawn, or Aggressive scales.
Interestingly, they were not more likely to endorse I
am shy, but they did endorse I keep from getting
involved with others more often than did other youths.
The schizophrenia risk group also scored significantly worse
on the SAICA Peer Engagement scale, which taps heterosexual
relationship items such as doesnt attend dances/parties,
doesnt date, doesnt have boy
friend/girl friend, friends of opposite sex. The researchers
concluded that adolescents at risk for schizophrenia manifest
immaturity and awkwardness in their peer relationships and
frequently experience peer rejection, particularly with
the opposite sex.
Reference: Hans, S.L., Auerbach, J.G., Asarnow,
J.R., Styr, B., and Marcus, J. (2000). Social Adjustment
of Israeli Adolescents At-Risk for Schizophrenia: The Jerusalem
Infant Development Study. Journal of American Academy
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 11, 1406-1414.