About this item:

513 Views | 2 Downloads

Author Notes:

Corresponding Author: Hanan D. Trotman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Emory University, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30322 USA; Email: htrotma@emory.edu; Phone: 404-727-8384; Fax: 404-727-0372


Research Funding:

This research was supported in part by Grant U01MHMH081988 from the National Institute of Mental Health awarded to Dr. Walker.


  • psychosis
  • prodrome
  • puberty
  • adolescence
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] axis
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal [HPG] axis
  • brain development

The Development of Psychotic Disorders in Adolescence: A potential role for hormones


Journal Title:

Hormones and Behavior


Volume 64, Number 2


, Pages 411-419

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The notion that adolescence is characterized by dramatic changes in behavior, and often by emotional upheaval, is widespread and longstanding in popular western culture. In recent decades, this notion has gained increasing support from empirical research showing that the peri- and post-pubertal developmental stages are associated with a significant rise in the rate of psychiatric symptoms and syndromes. As a result, interest in adolescent development has burgeoned among researchers focused on the origins of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Two factors have fueled this trend: 1) increasing evidence from longitudinal research that adolescence is the modal period for the emergence of “prodromal” manifestations, or precursors of psychotic symptoms, and 2) the rapidly accumulating scientific findings on brain structural and functional changes occurring during adolescence and young adulthood. Further, gonadal and adrenal hormones are beginning to play a more prominent role in conceptualizations of adolescent brain development, as well as in the origins of psychiatric symptoms during this period (Walker and Bollini, 2002; Walker et al., 2008). In this paper, we begin by providing an overview of the nature and course of psychotic disorders during adolescence/young adulthood. We then turn to the role of hormones in modulating normal brain development, and the potential role they might play in the abnormal brain changes that characterize youth at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis. The activational and organizational effects of hormones are explored, with a focus on how hormone-induced changes might be linked with neuropathological processes in the emergence of psychosis.

Copyright information:

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Export to EndNote