June 1971

Schizophrenia in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn
From the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation (Dr. Wilson); Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, University of Minnesota (Drs. Chan, Fras, and Moeller), Rochester.

Am J Dis Child. 1971;121(6):538-542. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02100170120023

Schizophrenia in infancy, childhood, and adolescence comprises a group of related and overlapping syndromes characterized by withdrawal, regression, and dissociation. Diagnostic criteria include (1) withdrawal from the environment, (2) disturbance of thought and speech, (3) inappropriate affect, (4) alteration in mobility, (5) disorientation, (6) preoccupation, (7) retardation, (8) disintegration of body image, (9) resistance to change, and (10) anxiety. About 1.9% of schizophrenic patients are less than 15 years old. The condition probably results from a combination of organic and psychogenic factors. Patients respond poorly to treatment; about one third achieve some social adjustment. There is no correlation between prognosis and therapy used, but apparently the earlier the disorder appears, the worse is the outlook.