Childhood Imaginary Companion and Schizotypy in Adolescents and Adults


  • Tohid Zarei University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Abbas Pourshahbaz University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWR)
  • Marjan Poshtmashhadi University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWR)



anomalous experience, imaginary companion, schizotypy


Objective: This study evaluated the association of Childhood Imaginary Companion (CIC) status and schizotypy levels of adolescents and adults within the framework of the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). Method: The sample included 255 Iranian adolescents and adults, grouped according to their CIC status, who responded mostly via e-questionnaires on a website. Schizotypy dimensions were compared between these two groups. Two measures compatible with the HiTOP model were also evaluated both in relation to the short scale of the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (sO-LIFE) schizotypy dimensions and the CIC status of participants; one scale used exclusively with adolescents (i.e., the Achenbach System of Empirically-Based Assessment-Youth Self-Report [ASEBA-YSR]), and another with adults (i.e., the NEO-Five Factor Inventory [NEO-FFI]). Results: Scores on the unusual experiences (UnEx) the impulsive nonconformity (ImpNon) dimensions, and the total score of the sO-LIFE were higher for the CIC group. For adolescents, the UnEx dimension and the Thought Problems subscale of the ASEBA-YSR correlated. Scores on three subscales of the ASEBA-YSR (i.e., Thought Problems, Obsessive-Compulsive Problems, and PTSD Problems) were significantly higher for the CIC group. For adults, the neuroticism domain of the NEO-FFI correlated strongly with total score of the sO-LIFE and the cognitive disorganization (CogDis) dimension. This domain of the NEO-FFI was the only one in which CIC adults scored higher than the NIC group. Conclusion: CIC in adolescents and adults is associated with a set of schizotypy dimensions in line with the concept of the “happy schizotype.”

Author Biographies

Abbas Pourshahbaz, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWR)

Dean of Clinical Psychology Department

Marjan Poshtmashhadi, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWR)

Faculty Member of Clinical Psychology Department


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How to Cite

Zarei, T., Pourshahbaz, A., & Poshtmashhadi, M. (2022). Childhood Imaginary Companion and Schizotypy in Adolescents and Adults. Journal of Anomalous Experience and Cognition, 2(1), 166–189.



Research articles