Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 1029–1037 | Cite as

Mild psychotic experiences among ethnic minority and majority adolescents and the role of ethnic density

  • Lizzy Eilbracht
  • Gonneke W. J. M. Stevens
  • J. T. W. Wigman
  • S. van Dorsselaer
  • Wilma A. M. Vollebergh
Original Paper



Despite evidence of the increased risk of psychotic disorders among ethnic minority adults, little is known about the effect of ethnic minority status to mild psychotic experiences among adolescents. This study investigated mild psychotic experiences in ethnic minority and majority adolescents in a Dutch representative general population sample, and tested the ethnic density effect in the classroom.


The CAPE was used to assess mild psychotic experiences among Dutch (n = 3,606) and non-Western ethnic minority pupils (n = 769).


Ethnic minority adolescents showed higher levels of grandiosity and delusions than their ethnic majority peers, whereas no differences were found for hallucinations, paranormal beliefs and paranoia between both groups of adolescents. The ethnic density effect was partly confirmed for the ethnic majority: a decrease of ethnic majority pupils in class increased their feelings of paranoia.


Because only some dimensions of mild psychotic experiences were affected by ethnic minority status or the interaction between ethnic minority status and ethnic class composition, our findings emphasize that mild psychotic experiences are multifactorial in origin, with different underlying processes.


Mild psychotic experiences CAPE Ethnic minority status Adolescence Ethnic density 


Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lizzy Eilbracht
    • 1
  • Gonneke W. J. M. Stevens
    • 1
  • J. T. W. Wigman
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. van Dorsselaer
    • 4
  • Wilma A. M. Vollebergh
    • 1
  1. 1.Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Mental Health and NeuroscienceMaastricht University Medical CentreMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Rob Giel Research CentreUniversity Medical Centre GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction)UtrechtThe Netherlands

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