Experiences of psychosis among transition-age youth attending an outpatient clinic in a low-resourced community

Shelly Ben-David, Angel Amaro, Michelle R. Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study investigated whether transition-age youth at­tending a community-based urban outpatient clinic experienced psychosis. The study also explored how those who experienced psychosis, and their social support networks, manage these experiences. Method: Data were collected as part of a fea­sibility trial of a psychosocial intervention for youth with mental health disorders. The sample included 55 participants ages 16-20. We used Colorado Symptom In­dex (CSI) psychosis items to corroborate open-ended self-report items on psychosis. Results: Of participants, 29% reported experiences of psychosis. An additional 59% did not endorse psychotic experiences but reported psychotic-like symptoms on the CSI measure. Participants who reported psychotic experiences scored higher on the CSI than those who did not report psychotic experiences. They also reported delayed disclosure, negative emotions, negative messages from family members about their experiences, and coping mechanisms. Conclusions: Multiple assessment strategies are needed to assess for psychotic experiences among youth attending clinics that do not specialize in psychotic illnesses. Social workers in low-resourced clinics are uniquely positioned to identify early stages of psychosis, provide tai­lored psychosocial interventions, and refer youth to specialized early psychosis clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Colorado Symptom Index
  • Mental health disorders
  • Psychotic experiences
  • Transition-age youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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