High-risk diagnosis, social stress, and parent-child relationships: A moderation model

Eryn Bentley, Zachary B. Millman, Elizabeth Thompson, Caroline Demro, Emily Kline, Steven C. Pitts, Jordan E. DeVylder, Melissa Edmondson Smith, Gloria Reeves, Jason Schiffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Stress is related to symptom severity among youth at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis, although this relation may be influenced by protective factors. We explored whether the association of CHR diagnosis with social stress is moderated by the quality of parent-child relationships in a sample of 96 (36 CHR; 60 help-seeking controls) adolescents and young adults receiving mental health services. We examined self-reported social stress and parent-child relationships as measured by the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), and determined CHR status from the clinician-administered Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndrome (SIPS). The social stress subscale, part of the clinical domain of the BASC-2, assesses feelings of stress and tension in personal relationships and the relations with parents subscale, part of the adaptive domain of the BASC-2, assesses perceptions of importance in family and quality of parent-child relationship. There was a modest direct relation between risk diagnosis and social stress. Among those at CHR, however, there was a significant relation between parent-child relationships and social stress (b = -0.73, t[92] = -3.77, p < 0.001, f2 = 0.15) that was not observed among non-CHR individuals, suggesting that a positive parent-child relationship may be a protective factor against social stress for those at risk for psychosis. Findings provide additional evidence to suggest that interventions that simultaneously target both social stress and parent-child relationships might be relevant for adolescents and young adults at clinical high-risk for psychosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by funding from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Behavioral Health Administration through the Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness (OPASS# 14-13717G/M00B4400241).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • High-risk diagnosis
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Psychosis
  • Self-report
  • Social stress


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