Pubertal development and onset of psychosis in childhood onset schizophrenia

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Age of Onset; Child; Female; Humans; Male; Menarche; Psychotic Disorders; *Puberty; Schizophrenia, Childhood; Sex Factors




In this study, pubertal development was examined for a sample of children and adolescents with childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) defined as psychosis by age 12. Developmental and psychiatric histories were obtained for 28 adolescents (mean age 14.5 +/- 2.3 years) with severe, treatment refractory COS (14 males, 14 females). Age of onset of psychosis was also examined in relation to menarche and development of secondary sex characteristics. Girls had a trend towards developing secondary sex characteristics earlier than boys (P = 0.06), consistent with North American norms. Males (N = 14) and females (N = 14) had similar age of onset of psychosis. The age of development of secondary sex characteristics was associated with onset of psychosis for girls, but this finding was driven by one outlier. There was no significant correlation between development of psychosis and menarche. Neither male nor female probands differed significantly from their well siblings or from North American norms in their age of onset of pubertal development. There was no evidence of early onset of secondary sex characteristics for this sample. Finally, there was an absence of a clear relationship between onset of psychosis and indices of sexual development for these very early onset cases.


Psychiatry Res. 1997 Apr 18;70(1):1-7.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychiatry research

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