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Metacognitive beliefs in adolescents with an at-risk mental state for psychosis




The self-regulatory executive function model suggests that metacognitive beliefs play a role in all forms of psychological disorder, including psychosis. However, our understanding of these beliefs and their relationship with symptoms in adolescents with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis is limited.


The Metacognitions Questionnaire short form (MCQ-30) was administered to 31 adolescents with an identified ARMS. Scores were subsequently compared to a control group of 76 adolescents drawn from a community population.


As predicted, ARMS patients scored significantly higher on metacognition subscales, with negative beliefs (F = 42.97, P = 0.001), cognitive confidence (F = 17.11, P = 0.001) and need for control (F = 22.48, P = 0.001) subscales of the MCQ-30 distinguishing them from the comparison group.


The finding that metacognitive beliefs are significantly elevated in comparison to a community sample of adolescents is in keeping with previous adult-orientated research. Possible implications for clinical practice are discussed.