Childhood Trauma and the Risk for Psychosis

Poster A9, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Elizabeth Appiah-kusi1, Valeria Mondelli1, Philip Mcguire1, Sagnik Bhattacharyya1; 1Kings College London

Exposure to childhood trauma has been associated with experience of psychotic symptoms and disorders such as schizophrenia. Negative self-beliefs have been shown to partially mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and paranoia and have been shown to be characteristic of patients with psychosis. However, whether the association between childhood trauma and psychosis risk is mediated by altered cognitive schema has never been investigated before. Here we investigated this in a group of individuals with an at-risk mental state for psychosis (ARMS; n= 30) and matched healthy controls (HC; n=42). Data was collected about exposure to childhood trauma, cognitive schema as well as other potential risk factors for psychosis such as exposure to cannabis use. Relative to healthy controls, ARMS patients were significantly (all p<0.02) more exposed to various types of childhood trauma (emotional and sexual abuse, and emotional and physical neglect), had higher negative beliefs about themselves and others and lower positive beliefs about themselves and others and were more likely to use cannabis more than once a month. A number of logistic regression models revealed that emotional neglect was significantly (Exp (B) = 1.218, p=.002, CI 1.07-1.37) associated with psychosis risk state (ARMS) even after controlling for the effects of previous exposure to cannabis use, and that negative self-beliefs partly mediated the association between emotional neglect and psychosis risk. Together, this provides preliminary evidence about the cognitive mechanisms that may underlie the association between childhood trauma and psychosis risk.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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