Objective: The present study focused on the relationship between psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) and attention deficits in adolescents. Methods: A total of 2325 students, ages 14-19 years, across eight high schools in the Republic of Korea were recruited. Students performed the computerized Comprehensive Attention Test (CAT), which measures sustained and divided attention, and completed the Eppendorf Schizophrenia Inventory (ESI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). One hundred sixty-six participants were excluded from the present study due to incomplete answers on the ESI; thus, data from 2159 students were included in the final analysis. Results: Higher ESI scores predicted more omission and commission errors in divided-attention tasks after controlling for age, sex, and depressed mood (p = 0.024; p = 0.001, respectively). Attention and speech impairments on the ESI were the most frequent predictors of an increased number of errors in the attention tasks. All four ESI domains predicted the number of commission errors in divided-attention tasks (p < 0.001, p = 0.040, p = 0.046, and p = 0.013, respectively). In the high-risk group for psychosis (ESI ≥ 29), higher scores on the ideas of reference subscale were significantly associated with a higher number of both omission and commission errors in divided-attention tasks (p = 0.006, p = 0.017, respectively). Conclusions: PLEs during adolescents were associated with impaired attention on the divided-attention task, which demands increased attentional effort. Attention deficits in adolescents prone to psychosis may be related to thought-content disturbances rather than to cognitive and perceptual symptoms.
- Eppendorf Schizophrenia Inventory
- Psychotic-like experiences