Background: 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a common neurogenetic syndrome associated with high rates of psychosis. The aims of the present study were to identify the unique temperament traits that characterize children with 22q11.2DS compared to children with Williams syndrome (WS) and typically developing (TD) controls, and to examine temperamental predictors of the emergence of psychosis in 22q11.2DS. Methods: The temperament of 55 children with 22q11.2DS, 36 with WS, and 280 TD children was assessed using the Emotionality, Activity, Sociability (EAS) Temperament Survey, Parental Ratings. The presence of a psychotic disorder was evaluated in 49 children and adolescents with 22q11.2DS at baseline and again 5.43 ± 2.23 years after baseline temperament assessment. Results: Children with 22q11.2DS scored higher on Shyness compared to WS and TD controls. Children with 22q11.2DS and WS scored higher on Emotionality and lower on Activity compared to TD controls. Shyness was more severe in older compared to younger children with 22q11.2DS. Baseline Shyness scores significantly predicted the later emergence of a psychotic disorder at follow-up, in children with 22q11.2DS. Conclusions: Our results suggest that shyness is an early marker associated with the later emergence of psychosis in 22q11.2DS.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Yael Fishman for editorial assistance. This work was supported by the Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award of the March of Dimes, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Young Investigator Award (grant number 5-FY06-590 to D.G.) and the Binational Science Foundation (grant number 2011378).
- Shyness prediction
- Velocardiofacial syndrome
- Williams syndrome