Auditory hallucinations in youth: occurrence, clinical significance and intervention strategies

Kim van Slobbe-Maijer

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    The thesis ‘Auditory Hallucinations in Youth’ is about auditory hallucinations in children and adolescents (hereafter ‘youth’). Experiencing an auditory hallucination means that someone hears something in the absence of an identifiable stimulus (‘sound’). Auditory hallucinations can differ from undefinable sounds or mumbling to hearing clear music and/or hearing voices whispering or shouting. In the case of ‘hearing voices’, this is also called auditory verbal hallucinations. Previous research points to the frequent occurrence of auditory hallucinations. However, prevalence rates varied widely. Auditory hallucinations in youth are often transient. Nevertheless, while present, they can cause severe suffering and even be a symptom of psychopathology. Research following this thesis shows that almost one in ten people ever experience an auditory hallucination, with higher rates in children (12.7%) and adolescents (12.4%) than in adults (5.8%) and the elderly (4.5%). About a quarter (23.6%) of young adolescents hearing voices is in need of clinical care. Youth seeking help for hearing voices suffer highly consequent to the impact of their voices, but also to the presence of various and often multiple psychiatric diagnoses. Therefore, youth hearing voices warrant a broad clinical assessment. Treatment should always first aim at possible underlying causes and psychoeducation regarding auditory hallucinations. The newly developed psychotherapy Stronger Than your Voices is effective to increase coping regarding hearing voices and subsequently reduce the impact of the voices.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Sommer, Iris, Supervisor
    • Bartels-Velthuis, Agna, Co-supervisor
    Award date30-Sept-2019
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6375-489-7
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-6375-490-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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