Linking Abnormal Movements to Psychosis Diagnosis in Children

What is the hypothesis providing the foundation for the study described in the journal article? The hypothesis of the this study was to use the potential link between abnormal movements in children and future diagnosis of psychosis, particularly schizophrenia. The hope is that by showing the link between motor function in those with pre- psychosis will allow for sooner intervention and create better outcomes for those patients. The belief that abnormal movements can be predictive of future psychosis because both share neural mechanisms.

How are participant’s symptoms assessed? Those included in the study were ages 12 to 18 of both genders. The main exclusion factors were mental retardation, sustance abuse, or neurological disorder. There was a subgroup of children who had been exposed to psycotropic drugs already, drugs such as stimulants (27%), antidepressants(25%), and some antipsycotics(14%) for conduct problems.

The researchers used the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms which is comprised of five symptom domains: positive, negative, disorganized, general, and movement, however movement was left out for the purposes of this study.

Each of the symptoms were rated on a six point scale from absent to severe. “The mean of the combined category scores was used as an indicator of global symptomatology.“ Provide an overview of the movement abnormalities, then your personal perspective on the validity of using them as a measure in prodromal periods of a psychotic disorder. That is. do you think theses movements are a predictor of an Axis I Psychotic Disorder, or is more evidence needed? Body movements ranged from lip smacking, grimaces, blinking, pill rolling, toe tapping, arm twitches, and writhing.

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The results of the study were done with a Type I Error of p<.Ol, which gives a much smaller range of error, which shows a level of confindence that the findings were indeed linked with the research hypothesis.

The results for both the facial and upper body movements showed a significant link to a future diagnosis of psychosis, especially in regards to schizophrenia. There was nothing significant about the link between abnormal lower body movements and a future link of pychosis. These results showed no significant link towards gender, ethnicity, age, initial symptomology baseline, or current/previous use of psychotropic drugs. I think that this study does show that there is something to abnormal movements in adolescents and a possible diagnosis of psychosis in the future. However, I think that even though the fact that a few of the subjects in the study were already on psychotropic drugs were somewhat taken into account, there is no guaranteed way of knowing just how much of an affect these had on the outcome.

Also, I think that the fact that the sample size was so small is a major factor. It is really impractical to try and make a major generalization about a larger population, when only 40 people were sampled, and even then, the sample was broken down into smaller subgroups. i think that this is a good start, but it needs to be applied to a more controlled and larger sample. Do the findings support the hypothesis? The findings do support the hypothesis, but they do not prove it conclusively. The fact that facial and upper body movement may be prdictive, but abnormal lower body movement does not is supported by other previous studies done. “For example, in a report examining movement abnormalities in adults with psychosis, researchers, using a coding method in which participants were not seated, observed abnormalities in the oral/facial region roughly three times as often—and in the upper body region roughly twice as often—as abnormalities in the lower extremities.”

As I said before, I think that a larger and more controlled sample needs to be used in order to draw a more concrete conclusion. After reading this article and the John Nash material, what are your thoughts and beliefs about this category of mental illness? I think that something such as schizophrenia is not a black or white subject. I do think that there is a probability that the symptoms are present even during adolescence In our textbook, Maddux and Winstead wrote that “…show abnormalities in social behavior…less responsive in social situations, show less positive emotion, and have poorer social adjustment than children with healthy adult outcomes.” They also mention that those who are diagnosed With schizophrenia often were cognitively below their peers.

According to the documentary A Brilliant Madness, John Nash did struggle socially as a child. He was teased by his peers, but it was also recognized just how brilliant he was. So he fits half of the early signs of developing schizophrenia. The same documentary also discussed how he was often viewed as “eccentric,” even among his collegues. But he also came across as egocentric and overlly confident about his importance. When he was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, the views of himself as being the center of a conspiracy, how aliens were communicating with him and all the major powers of the world were trying to stop him, seemed to be an extension of his egocentric views. I also found it to be very interesting how once he was medicated, he became polite, was no longer egocentric, and was almost docile.

It was as if his personality ceased to exist and he became a calmer, more passive representation of his former self. So it makes me wonder, was his schizophrenia an intrical part of his overall personality. As far as his genius, I am reminded of Virginia Woolf. She was said to have bipolar disorder and would accomplish her greatest writings when she was in a manic state. Would she have been such a great writer if she hadn’t been bipolar? Is it the same forJohn Nash, is he brilliant despite having schizophrenia or because of it? john Nash even said himself that he never questioned his delusions because they came from the same place as the solutions to his math problems, It seems to me that brilliance comes hand in hand with “eccentricity”-which to me means society ignoring the fact that a person of great value has a mental illness because they hold more value than others with a mental illness.

Works Cited

  1. Maddux, ].E. & Winstead, B.A. (2012). Psychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding (3rd ed.), Oxon: Routledge.
  2. Mittal, V.A., 6: Walker, E.F (2007). Movement abnormalities predict conversion to Axis I Psychosis among prodromal adolescents, Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 116 (4), 796-803.
  3. Youtube. John Nash – A brilliant madness. Accessed 13 February 2013. Retrieved from

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Linking Abnormal Movements to Psychosis Diagnosis in Children. (2022, Jul 11). Retrieved from

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