IEPA 11 has ended
Monday, October 8 • 5:15pm - 5:35pm
Symposium 9, Talk 3. "Family Communication and Family Functioning in Youth at Risk for Serious Mental Illness"

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Olga Santesteban-Echarri1; 1University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Family flexibility and cohesion are at times impaired in families of first-episode psychosis patients compared to healthy controls (HCs). Furthermore, family functioning may be important even before the onset of illness. A positive family environment may be related to a decrease in symptoms and improved functioning in youth at clinical high-risk for psychosis. However, little is known about earlier stages of risk and the importance of the family environment for youth at-risk for serious mental illness (SMI).In the PROCAN study, we examined family functioning from the Circumplex Model of Family Systems in a large sample of youth at-risk for SMI. Family functioning was evaluated with the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales-IV (FACES-IV) for 41 youth with a family history of SMI (Stage 0), 52 distressed youth with early mood and anxiety symptoms (Stage 1a), 105 youth with subthreshold psychotic symptoms (Stage 1b), and 42 HCs. Results from multivariate linear regression analyses showed that participants in Stage 1a and Stage 1b significantly differ from HCs in all the family functioning scales. Furthermore, participants in Stage 0 differed from participants in Stage 1b; and similarly, participants in Stage 1a differed in all the scales from participants in Stage 0. Therefore, family functioning appears to be impaired in youth at-risk for SMI who present with early signs of mood, anxiety or subthreshold psychotic symptoms.


Olga Santesteban-Echarri

University of Calgary

Monday October 8, 2018 5:15pm - 5:35pm EDT
American Ballroom-Center Westin Copley Place, fourth floor

Attendees (9)