ERIC Number: ED359471
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Overview of Childhood Schizophrenia.
Childhood schizophrenia is a rare but serious disorder with complex symptoms that affect children and their families. Childhood schizophrenia was once the term applied for all childhood psychoses, including autism and mood disorders, but more recently researchers have distinguished childhood schizophrenia from other disorders. There are differing views on the continuity of childhood schizophrenia into adult schizophrenia and on similarities between childhood and adult schizophrenia. A number of symptoms that some very young children with schizophrenia may exhibit have been identified by age, including lethargy (newborns); perseveration (3-12 months); and hypotonia and phobias (2 years). While many of these symptoms may continue through the elementary years, thinking, language, balance, and motor functions also may become disordered. The time of onset of the symptoms of schizophrenia seems to be an important variable in the course and outcome of the illness. The diagnostic criteria of childhood schizophrenia are the same as those for adult schizophrenia. Evidence has suggested that both biological and environmental factors play a role in the development of schizophrenia, although direct causes are still in question. Multimodal treatment programs, based on the child's individual cognitive level, have been suggested in working with children and adolescents. Much more methodologically sound research is needed in the areas of treatment, symptomatology, diagnosis, and etiology of childhood schizophrenia. (Contains 19 references.) (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A