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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 12, 928 - 932

Short report

Psychosis: recognising the symptoms and disorders in children and adolescents

J.A. Vorstman, E.J. Breetvelt, M.H. Hillegers, F.E. Scheepers

background Psychotic symptoms can occur during normal development, but they can also indicate the presence of or an increased risk of a psychotic disorder. By studying children who are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder we can obtain information that will help to distinguish more accurately between developmental phenomena and psychopathology.
aim To present the current state of our knowledge about the development of psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders and to discuss the importance of continuing research into subpopulations of children who are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder.
method We give an epidemiological and clinical description of psychosis in childhood and we report on recent Dutch and international studies about children with an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders.
results Results so far indicate that these children tend to have an increased risk of developing not only psychotic disorders but also a wide range of psychopathological conditions in later life. The degree of risk depends on the nature and number of risk factors involved.
conclusion More research is needed to follow the development of children with an increased risk of psychotic disorders.

keywords children and adolescents, psychotic disorder, symptoms