Migration and psychotic experiences in the Tokyo Teen Cohort

Jordan DeVylder, Kaori Endo, Syudo Yamasaki, Shuntaro Ando, Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Kiyoto Kasai, Atsushi Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Immigration has been shown to be associated with an increased risk for psychotic experiences, with similar effect sizes for first-generation and second-generation migration (i.e., children whose parents had migrated). However, this association varies by country, and by ethnic group at the within-country level, such that risk is greatest among migrants facing substantial social exclusion and disadvantage. This is the first study to our knowledge to examine migration as a potential risk factor for psychotic experiences in Japan. Method: Using data from the Tokyo Teen Cohort (N=3052), we tested whether migrant status was associated with the lifetime prevalence of psychotic experiences at age 10. Results: Only 2.2% of the sample (n=68) had at least one migrant parent. Psychotic experiences were more common among children with at least one migrant parent, odds ratio (95% CI) = 2.06(1.26–3.35). This association appeared to be driven primarily by visual hallucinations and thought broadcasting, and specific to children with lower IQ at age 10. Discussion: The findings suggest that migrant status is associated with increased likelihood of psychotic experiences at age 10 in Tokyo, Japan. Future prospective research should explore social exclusion as a potential underlying mechanism and can further clarify the protective role of IQ and related factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100078
JournalJournal of Migration and Health
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnicity
  • Immigration
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotic experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Sociology and Political Science


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