European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 411–415 | Cite as

Auditory hallucinations in pre-pubertal children

A one-year follow-up, preliminary findings
  • Florence L. Askenazy
  • Karine Lestideau
  • Anne Meynadier
  • Emmanuelle Dor
  • Martine Myquel
  • Yves Lecrubier
BRIEF REPORT

Abstract

Background

The aims of this study were to describe the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations in children, to establish links with DSM IV diagnoses and to explore development of the hallucinations over a 12-month period.

Methods

Outpatients aged 5- to 12-year-old were consecutively recruited. They were interviewed using a questionnaire investigating auditory hallucinations. DSM IV diagnoses were determined. Follow-up assessments were performed at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

Results

Ninety children were recruited. Sixteen reported auditory hallucinations. In 53% we observed children’s full recovery from hallucinations within 3 months and all of these suffered from anxiety disorders. In 30% hallucinations persisted over 12 months and all showed conduct disorders at this point in time. None was diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

Conclusions

Our study provides further evidence of the high prevalence of auditory hallucinations in pre-pubertal children presenting to psychiatric clinics. Two different patterns of development were seen. In one group the hallucinations seem unrelated to psychosis although they may be a manifestation of anxiety. In the second, much smaller, persistence of hallucinations appeared linked to conduct disorders.

Keywords

auditory hallucinations pre-pubertal children anxiety schizophrenia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Professor Philip Graham for assistance in preparing this manuscript.

References

  1. 1.
    American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edition (DSM IV). American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Altman H, Collins M, Mundy P (1997) Sub clinical hallucinations and delusions in non-psychotic adolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatr 38(4):413–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anderson JC, Williams S, McGee R, Silva PA (1987) DSM-III disorders in preadolescent children: prevalence in a large sample from the general population. Archiv Gen Psychiatr 44(1):69–76Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burke P, Del Beccaro M, McCauley E, Clark C (1985) Hallucinations in children. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 24:71–75Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chambers WJ, Puig-Antich J, Tabrizi MA, Davis M (1982) Psychotic symptoms in pre-pubertal major depressive disorder. Archiv Gen Psychiatr 39:921–927Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dhossche D, Ferdinand R, Van der Ende J, Hofstra MB, Verhulst F (2002) Diagnostic outcome of self-reported hallucinations in a community sample of adolescents. Psychol Med 32:619–627PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edelsohn GA, Rabinovich H, Portnoy R (2003) Hallucinations in non-psychotic children: findings from a psychiatric emergency service. Ann NY Acad Sci 1008:261–264PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Escher S, Romme M, Buiks A, Delespaul P, Van Os J (2002) Independent course of childhood auditory hallucinations: a sequential 3-year follow-up study. Brit J Psychiatr 181(43):10–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Famularo R, Kinscherff R, Fenton T (1992) Psychiatric diagnoses of maltreated children: preliminary findings. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 31:863–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fenning S, Susser ES, Pilowsky D, Fenning S, Bromet E (1997) Childhood hallucinations preceding the first psychotic episode. J Nerv Mental Dis 185:115–116Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garralda ME (1982) Hallucinations in psychiatrically disordered children: preliminary communication. J Roy Soc Med 75:181–184PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Garralda ME (1984a) Hallucinations in children with conduct and emotional disorders, I: the clinical phenomena. Psychol Med 14:589–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Garralda ME (1984b) Hallucinations in children with conduct and emotional disorders: II. The follow-up study. Psychol Med 14:597–604Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hodgins S, Tiihonen J, Ross D (2005) The consequences of conduct disorder for males who develop schizophrenia: associations with criminality, aggressive behaviour, substance use, and psychiatric services. Schizophr Res 78(2-3):323–335PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kim-Cohen J, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Harrington H, Milne BJ, Poulton R (2003) Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder: developmental follow-back of a prospective-longitudinal cohort. Archiv Gen Psychiatr 60:709–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kaufman J, Birmaher B, Brent D, Rao U, Flynn C, Moreci P, Williamson D, Ryan N (1997) Schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school age children present and life time version (K-SASD-PL): initial reliability and validity data. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 36:980–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Livingston R, Lawson L, Jones JG (1993) Predictors of self-reported psychopathology in children abused repeatedly by a parent. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 32(3):948–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mertin M, Hartwig S (2004) Auditory hallucinations in non-psychotic children: diagnostic considerations. Child Adoles Mental Health 9(1):9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    McGee R, Williams S, Poulton R (2000) Hallucinations in non-psychotic children (Letter). J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 39(1):12–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Murase S, Hanjo S, Inoko K, Ohta T (2002) A child who visited the emergency room with stress-related non-psychotic hallucinations. Gen Hospital Psychiatr 24:448–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Murase S, Ochiai S, Ohta T (2000) Separation anxiety leads to non-psychotic hallucinations. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 39(11):1345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rhoades HM, Overall JE (1998) The semi-structured BPRS interview and rating guide. Psychopharmacol Bull 24(1):101–104Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Poulton R, Caspi A, Moffit TE, Cannon M, Murray R, Harrington HL (2000) Children’s self reported psychotic symptoms and adult schizophreniform disorder. A 15 year longitudinal study. Archiv Gen Psychiatr 57:1053–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Robins L (1966) Deviant children grown up. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Robins LN (1993) Childhood conduct problems, adult psychopathology, and crime. In: Hodgins S (ed) Mental disorder and crime. Sage Publications, Inc., Newbury park, Canada, pp 173–193Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Robins LN, Price RK (1991) Adult disorders predicted by childhood conduct problems: results from the NIMH epidemiologic catchments area project. Psychiatry 54:116–132PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ryan ND, Puig-Antich J, Ambrosini P, Rabinovich H, Robinson D, Nelson B, Iyengar S, Twomey J (1987) The clinical picture of major depression in children and adolescents. Archiv Gen Psychiatr 44(10):854–861Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schreier HA (1999) Hallucinations in non-psychotic children: more common than we think? J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 38(5):623–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schreier HA (1998) Auditory hallucinations in non-psychotic children with affective syndromes and migraines: report of 13 cases. J Child Neurol 13:377–382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schreier HA, Libow JA (1986) Acute phobic hallucinations in very young children. J Am Acad Child Adoles Psychiatr 25(4):574–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tanner JM, Whitehouse RH (1976) Clinical longitudinal standards for height, weight, height velocity, weight velocity and stages of puberty. Archiv Dis Childhood 51(3):170–179Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Taylor E, Rogers JW (2005) Practitioner review: early adversity and developmental disorders. J Child Psychol Psychiatr 46(5):451–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tien AY (1991) Distribution of hallucinations in the population. Soc Psychiatr Psychiatr Epidemiol 26(6):287–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florence L. Askenazy
    • 1
  • Karine Lestideau
    • 2
  • Anne Meynadier
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Dor
    • 1
  • Martine Myquel
    • 1
  • Yves Lecrubier
    • 3
  1. 1.Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent Fondation LENVALNiceFrance
  2. 2.Clinique Dupré, Fondation de FranceSceauxFrance
  3. 3.INSERM U 302, Hôpital de la SalpétrièreParisFrance

Personalised recommendations