Peer networks and psychological health in first-episode psychosis

Principal Investigator: Larry Seidman, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator: Jude Leung, M.A.

Study Overview

We are conducting a research study to find out more about the friendships of adolescents and young adults who are currently or have recently been experiencing symptoms of psychosis. The purpose of the study is to learn about the relationship between peer networks and the psychological health and quality of life of these individuals. We also want to find out what factors may influence this relationship, for example, whether certain aspects of friendships are more connected to good psychological health than others. This study involves standard questionnaires, interviews, and tests used routinely by psychologists to measure these characteristics.

What will happen during the study

If you decide to volunteer and agree to be in this study, we will ask you questions about your mental health, your relationships with various people in your life, and your feelings of enjoyment or satisfaction in different areas of your life. We will also ask you to take two standard psychological tests that look at how you think and pay attention. Lastly, we will ask permission to review your patient record at Shattuck Hospital to learn more about your current living situation, your medication history, any psychiatric hospitalizations, and other similar matters. Participation in this study is expected to take about 2-3 hours.

As a participant, you would be asked to

  • sign a consent form indicating your agreement to participate and to release your Shattuck Hospital patient record to study staff for review
  • if under age 18, have a parent sign a consent form indicating his/her agreement for you to participate and to release your Shattuck Hospital patient record to study staff for review
  • participate in 2-3 hours of interviews, questionnaires, and standard psychological tests

Who can participate?

  • Individuals diagnosed in the last 2 years with a schizophrenia-spectrum or affective psychosis illness such as :
    • Schizophrenia
    • Schizoaffective disorder
    • Bipolar disorder with psychotic features
    • Depression with psychotic features
  • Participants must be 16-30 years old.
  • Participants must be able to understand English.

This study takes place at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Individuals enrolled in the study are compensated $30 for their participation.

For more information, please contact:

Jude Leung, M.A.
Phone: 617-626-9650