BACKGROUND: Psychotic experiences and negative symptoms (PENS) are common in non-clinical populations. PENS are associated with adverse outcomes, particularly when they persist. Little is known about the trajectories of PENS dimensions in young people, nor about the precursory factors associated with these trajectories. METHODS: We conducted growth mixture modelling of paranoia, hallucinations, and negative symptoms across ages 16, 17, and 22 in a community sample (N = 12 049-12 652). We then described the emergent trajectory classes through their associations with genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) for psychiatric and educational phenotypes, and earlier childhood characteristics. RESULTS: Three trajectory classes emerged for paranoia, two for hallucinations, and two for negative symptoms. Across PENS, GPS for clinical help-seeking, major depressive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were associated with increased odds of being in the most elevated trajectory class (OR 1.07-1.23). Lower education GPS was associated with the most elevated trajectory class for hallucinations and negative symptoms (OR 0.77-0.91). Conversely for paranoia, higher education GPS was associated with the most elevated trajectory class (OR 1.25). Trajectory class associations were not significant for schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or anorexia GPS. Emotional/behaviour problems and life events in childhood were associated with increased odds of being in the most elevated trajectory class across PENS. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest latent heterogeneity in the development of paranoia, hallucinations, and negative symptoms in young people that is associated with specific polygenic scores and childhood characteristics.
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Adolescence, community, developmental trajectories, emerging adulthood, growth mixture modelling, negative symptoms, polygenic scores, psychotic experiences