Schizophrenia in adolescence
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The emergence of schizophrenic psychoses during middle and late adolescence poses the question of how adolescence as a developmental stage is related to the emergence of severe psychopathology. This paper examines several possible explanations for adolescence as the beginning of the high-risk age, particularly for the schizophrenias. After discussing the nature of adolescence as distinguished from puberty, and then considering the nature of schizophrenia, we report some data from a long-range study of young adult psychiatric patients, both schizophrenic and nonschizophrenic. Our data support the idea that serious psychopathology—not only schizophrenia—occurs in a setting of poor competence in a variety of crucial skills which include the social, intellectual, and physical realms. The demands made on adolescents by societal expectations for independence and role establishment summon a variety of competencies. Where these competencies are dysfunctional, societal demands strain an already vulnerable youth, and potentiate disorganization.
KeywordsSchizophrenia Developmental Stage Health Psychology School Psychology Psychiatric Patient
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