The relationship between temperament and character and psychotic-like experiences in healthy children and adolescents

Publication Date


Journal Title

Eur Psychiatry


BACKGROUND: Prior work by our group identified personality profiles associated with psychotic-like experiences (PLE's) in healthy adults that were strikingly similar to those found in schizophrenia patients, with the exception of two key differences. Specifically, higher levels of PLE's were linked to higher persistence and cooperativeness, suggesting that these characteristics might represent personality-based resilience factors. Notably, age and personality were significantly correlated in these data, raising questions about whether healthy children and adolescents would show similar results. To date, no study has examined personality profiles associated with both positive and negative PLE's in healthy children and adolescents using Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Thus, this study examined the relationship between TCI dimensions and PLE's in healthy children and adolescents. METHOD: The TCI and the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) were administered to 123 healthy children and adolescents aged 8-18. Multiple regression models were used to examine personality dimensions associated with overall severity of PLE's as well as severity of positive and negative PLE's separately. RESULTS: Positive, negative, and overall PLE severity were all associated with a personality pattern of higher harm avoidance and lower self-directedness. Negative PLE severity was also associated with lower persistence. CONCLUSIONS: Personality correlates of PLE's in healthy children and adolescents were largely consistent with our past work on PLE's in healthy adults. However, our previously identified resilience factors were notably absent in this sample. These findings may suggest that these personality characteristics have not yet crystallized or emerged to aid in coping with PLE's.

Volume Number




Document Type


EPub Date



Faculty; Northwell Researcher


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department


Additional Departments

Molecular Medicine