Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Debate About Childhood Trauma And Schizophrenia Settled

University of Auckland. Media Release. 26.4.2012

Debate About Childhood Trauma And Schizophrenia Settled By Review Of 46 Studies

Researchers at the Universities of Liverpool. Maastricht (Netherlands) and Auckland have found that children who have experienced childhood trauma are three times more likely to develop schizophrenia in later life.

The findings, based on analysing 46 studies involving 80,000 subjects, shed new light on the debate about the importance of genetic and environmental triggers of psychotic disorders. For decades research has focused on the biological factors behind conditions such as schizophrenia, but there is now conclusive evidence that these conditions cannot be fully understood without looking at the patients’ life experiences.

This is the first ‘meta-analysis’ to analyse 30 years of studies on the association between childhood trauma and the psychosis. The researchers looked at more than 27,000 research papers to extract data from three types of studies; those addressing the progress of children known to have experienced adversity; studies of randomly selected members of the population; and research on psychotic patients who were asked about their early childhood. The analysis covered physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, and parental death.

Across all three types of studies the results led to similar conclusions. Children who had experienced any type of trauma before the age of 16 were approximately three times more likely to become psychotic in adulthood compared to those selected randomly from the population. There was also a relationship between the level of trauma and the likelihood of psychosis later life. Those that were severely traumatised as children were at a greater risk, in some cases up to 50 times increased risk, than those who experienced trauma to a lesser extent. The paper concludes that “childhood adversity is strongly associated with increased risk for psychosis”.

Professor Richard Bentall, from the University of Liverpool:

“Now that we know environment is a major factor in psychosis and that there are direct links between specific experiences and symptoms of the condition, it is even more vital that psychiatric services routinely question patients about their life experience. Surprisingly, some psychiatric teams do not address these issues and only focus on treating a patient with medication.”

Professor John Read, from the University of Auckland’s Psychology Department:
“This remains a controversial topic, so to have a sophisticated meta-analysis of all the relevant research find that childhood adversities definitely are causal factors for psychosis, which some psychiatrists still think is a biological illness, is very important”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news