Social adjustment of adolescents at risk for schizophrenia: The Jerusalem Infant Development Study

Sydney L. Hans, Judith G. Auerbach, Joan R. Asarnow, Benedict Styr, Joseph Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective: To better understand whether poor social adjustment, a core characteristic of schizophrenic illness, may also be an indicator of vulnerability in young people who are at genetic risk for schizophrenia, but who do not have schizophrenia. Method: Between 1992 and 1996, 27 Israeli adolescents with a schizophrenic parent, 29 adolescents with no mentally ill parent, and 30 adolescents with a parent having a nonschizophrenic mental disorder were assessed on multiple domains of social adjustment measured using the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents and the Youth Self-Report. Results: Young people with a schizophrenic parent showed poor peer engagement, particularly heterosexual engagement, and social problems characterized by immaturity and unpopularity with peers. These social adjustment difficulties in youths at risk for schizophrenia could not be attributed solely to the presence of early-onset mental disorders, although problems were greater in those with disorders in the schizophrenia spectrum. Young people whose parents had other disorders showed different patterns of social maladjustment characterized by difficult, conflictual relationships with peers and family. Conclusion: Adolescents at risk for schizophrenia have social deficits that extend beyond early-onset psychopathology and that may reflect vulnerability to schizophrenic disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1406-1414
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Adolescence
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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