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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 635732, 10 pages
Research Article

The Melbourne Assessment of Schizotypy in Kids: A Useful Measure of Childhood Schizotypal Personality Disorder

1School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
2Department of Psychiatry, Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia
3Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Group, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia
4Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
5Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia

Received 17 July 2014; Revised 19 November 2014; Accepted 4 December 2014

Academic Editor: Reinhold Schmidt

Copyright © 2015 Harvey P. Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite being identified as a high risk cohort for psychosis, there has been relatively little research on the clinical presentation and assessment of Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD) in childhood. The current study aimed to develop a measure of childhood SPD (Melbourne Assessment of Schizotypy in Kids (MASK)) and assess discriminant validity against another neurodevelopmental disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sixty-eight children aged between 5 and 12 (21 SPD, 15 ASD, and 32 typically developing) and their parents were administered the MASK. The MASK is a 57-item semistructured interview that obtains information from the child, their parents, and the clinician. The results showed high internal consistency for the MASK and higher scores in the SPD group. A factor analysis revealed two MASK factors: social/pragmatic symptoms and positive schizotypal symptoms. Both factors were associated with SPD, while only the social/pragmatic factor was associated with ASD. Within the two clinical groups, a receiver operating characteristic curve showed that the MASK (cut-off score: 132 out of 228) was a good indicator of SPD diagnosis. These preliminary MASK findings were reliable and consistent and suggest that childhood SPD is characterised by complex symptomology distinguishable from ASD.