It is now well established that the utilization of standardized clinical criteria can enhance prediction of psychosis. These criteria are primarily concerned with the presence and severity of attenuated positive symptoms. Because these symptom criteria are used to derive algorithms for designating clinical high risk (CHR) status and for maximizing prediction of psychosis risk, it is important to know whether the symptom ratings vary as a function of demographic factors that have previously been linked with symptoms in diagnosed psychotic patients. Using a sample of 356 CHR individuals from the NAPLS-II multi-site study, we examined the relation of three sex, age, and educational level, with the severity of attenuated positive symptom scores from the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS). Demographic factors accounted for little of the variance in symptom ratings (5-6%). Older CHR individuals manifested more severe suspiciousness, and female CHR participants reported more unusual perceptual experiences than male participants. Contrary to prediction, higher educational level was associated with more severe ratings of unusual thought content, but less severe perceptual abnormalities. Overall, sex, age and education were modestly related to unusual thought content and perceptual abnormalities, only, suggesting minimal implication for designating CHR status and predicting psychosis-risk.
School of Medicine