To investigate the longitudinal relationship between subclinical psychotic symptoms and social functioning in a representative general population sample of adolescents.
Data were derived from a routine general health screening of 1909 adolescents in a circumscribed region. Baseline measurement was in the second grade of secondary school (T0), and follow‐up occurred approximately 2 years later (T1). Social functioning and subclinical psychotic symptoms of hallucinations and delusions were assessed at both time points.
Baseline (T0) social problems preceded follow‐up (T1) subclinical delusions, but not T1 subclinical hallucinations. Similarly, T0 delusions preceded social problems at T1, but T0 hallucinations did not.
This longitudinal general population study demonstrated a bidirectional association between social problems and delusions, but found no link between social problems and hallucinations. This may reflect a downward negative spiral where delusional thoughts and social problems reinforce each other.