Psychotic experiences predict subsequent loneliness among adolescents: A population-based birth cohort study

Kaori Endo, Syudo Yamasaki, Miharu Nakanishi, Jordan DeVylder, Satoshi Usami, Yuko Morimoto, Daniel Stanyon, Kazuhiro Suzuki, Mitsuhiro Miyashita, Makoto Arai, Shinya Fujikawa, Sho Kanata, Shuntaro Ando, Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Kiyoto Kasai, Atsushi Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cross-sectional studies have suggested that the occurrence of psychotic experiences is associated with loneliness in the general adolescent population. However, there has been a scarcity of prospective longitudinal studies on this topic. Methods: We investigated the longitudinal association between the presence of psychotic experiences and loneliness among adolescents using data from a population-based birth cohort study (Tokyo Teen Cohort; N = 3171). Psychotic experiences and loneliness were assessed at three timepoints with two-year intervals through early adolescence (age 10, 12, and 14). Results: After adjusting for demographic characteristics and potential confounding factors, linear regression analyses showed a significant longitudinal association between psychotic experiences and subsequent loneliness (for age 10 to 12: B = 0.041, 95% CI: 0.009–0.074, p =.013; for age 12 to 14: B = 0.061, 95% CI: 0.026–0.096, p =.001). The reverse association, between preceding loneliness and later psychotic experiences, was not significant (for age 10 to 12: B = 0.003, 95% CI: −0.052–0.057, p =.926; for age 12 to 14: B = −0.028, 95% CI: −0.088–0.032, p =.355). Discussion: Loneliness could be a sign of underlying psychotic experiences among adolescents but does not appear to be antecedent to these symptoms. Clinicians and teachers should assess for the presence of psychotic experiences in young adolescents who report loneliness. Future studies capturing PEs and loneliness at narrower time intervals, and including other potential mediators and confounders, may be insightful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Adolescence
  • Cohort study
  • General population
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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