Self-report of family functioning and risk for psychotic disorders in male adolescents with behavioural disturbances

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2008 Mar;117(3):225-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01143.x. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


Objective: Previous studies indicate that a poor family environment might affect vulnerability for the later manifestation of psychotic illness. The current study aims to examine family functioning prior to the onset of psychosis.

Method: Subjects were 42,948, 17-year old males with behavioural disturbances who were asked about the functioning of their family by the Israeli Draft Board. Data on later psychiatric hospitalizations were obtained from a National Psychiatric Hospitalization Registry.

Results: Poorer self-reported family functioning was associated with greater risk for later hospitalization for psychosis [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.05-1.27], with a trend in the same direction for schizophrenia (adjusted HR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.98-1.24).

Conclusion: In male adolescents with behavioural disturbances, perceived poorer family functioning is associated with increased risk for non-affective psychotic disorders and schizophrenia. These data do not enable us to determine if perceived familial dysfunction increases vulnerability for psychosis, if premorbid behavioural abnormalities disrupt family life, or neither.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Conflict / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Social Environment