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


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news