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Some childhood autistic traits are associated with psychotic experiences in early adolescence

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Question: What is the relationship between maternally reported childhood autistic traits and psychotic experiences in adolescence?

Population: 6439 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort whose mothers responded to questionnaires about autistic traits in their children when the children were 7–8 years of age, and who also completed a clinical assessment for psychotic experiences at age 12. Members of the ALSPAC were born to residents of the former Avon health authority area and had an expected date of delivery between 1 April 1991 and 31 December 1992.

Setting: UK; from 1991 to 2004.

Prognostic factors: Autistic traits that were present before the age of 3 years and at the age of 7–8 years, assessed using the development and well-being assessment. Parent Interview at age 7–8 years. The focal questions for the mothers were whether, in the first 3 years of their child's life, there was anything that seriously worried them about: (1) their speech development; (2) how they got on with other people; (3) any odd rituals or unusual habits they had that were …

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  • Sources of funding The UK Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol.


  • Competing interests None.