Negative symptoms and impaired social functioning predict later psychosis in Latino youth at clinical high risk in the North American prodromal longitudinal studies consortium




Examining ethnically related variables in evaluating those at risk for psychosis is critical. This study investigated sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of Latino versus non-Latino clinical high-risk (CHR) subjects and healthy control (HC) subjects in the first North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study.


Fifty-six Latino CHR subjects were compared to 25 Latino HC and 423 non-Latino CHR subjects across clinical and demographic variables. Thirty-nine of the 56 CHR subjects completed at least one subsequent clinical evaluation over the 2.5-year period with 39% developing a psychotic illness. Characteristics of Latino CHR subjects who later converted to psychosis (‘converters’) were compared to those who did not (‘non-converters’).


Latino CHR subjects were younger than non-Latino CHR subjects and had less education than Latino HC subjects and non-Latino CHR counterparts. Latino CHR converters had higher scores than Latino non-converters on the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes total negative symptoms that were accounted for by decreased expression of emotion and personal hygiene/social attentiveness subsections. Latino CHR converters scored lower on the global functioning:social scale, indicating worse social functioning than Latino non-converters.


Based on this sample, Latino CHR subjects may seek treatment earlier and have less education than non-Latino CHR subjects. Deficits in social functioning and impaired personal hygiene/social attentiveness among Latino CHR subjects predicted later psychosis and may represent important areas for future study. Larger sample sizes are needed to more thoroughly investigate the observed ethnic differences and risk factors for psychosis in Latino youth.