4 years ago

Environmental adversities and psychotic symptoms: The impact of timing of trauma, abuse, and neglect

Trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACE) occur more often in mental illness, including psychosis, than in the general population. Individuals with psychosis (cases) report a higher number and severity (dose) of adversities than healthy controls. While a dose-dependent increase of adversities has been related to more severe psychopathology, the role of type and timing is still insufficiently understood on the exacerbation of positive and negative psychotic symptoms. Moreover, dissociative symptoms were examined as potential mediator between adversities and severity of psychotic symptoms. Methods Exposure to adversities were assessed by interviews in n =180 cases and n =70 controls. In cases, symptom severities were obtained for psychotic symptoms and dissociation. Conditioned random forest regression determined the importance of type and timing of ACE for positive and negative symptom severity, and mediator analyses evaluated the role of dissociative symptoms in the relationship between adversities and psychotic symptoms. Results Cases experienced substantially more abuse and neglect than controls. Adversities were related in a dose-dependent manner to psychotic disorder. An array of adversities was associated with more severe positive symptoms, while the conditioned random forest regression depicted neglect at age 10 as the most important predictor. Dissociative symptoms mediated the small relation of trauma load in childhood and positive symptoms. Conclusion The role of trauma and ACE on psychotic symptoms can be specified by neglect during frontocortical development in the exacerbation of positive symptoms. The mediating role of dissociation is restricted to the relation of childhood trauma and positive symptoms.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S092099641730662X

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