Early trauma and familial risk in the development of the extended psychosis phenotype in adolescence

J. T. W. Wigman*, R. van Winkel, J. Ormel, Frank C. Verhulst, J. van Os, Wilma A. M. Vollebergh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Wigman JTW, van Winkel R, Ormel J, Verhulst FC, van Os J, Vollebergh WAM. Early trauma and familial risk in the development of the extended psychosis phenotype in adolescence. Objective: Both genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role in the development of psychotic outcomes; however, their respective contributions over time, including possible developmental interactions, remain largely unknown. Method: The contribution of parental general and psychotic psychopathology as proxies of genetic risk to the development of subthreshold psychosis and its hypothesized interaction with childhood trauma were studied in a general population sample of 2230 adolescents, followed from age 1016 years. Outcome measures were: i) level of psychotic experiences at age 16 years and ii) persistence of such experiences over the total follow-up period. Results: General parental psychopathology was associated with CAPE score (OR = 1.08; P <0.043 for highest quintile) and suggestively predicted psychosis persistence (OR, 1.16; P <0.072). Psychotic parental psychopathology was suggestively associated with CAPE score (OR, 2.25; P <0.063 for highest quintile), predicted membership of the Persistent group (OR, 3.72; P <0.039) and suggestively predicted membership of the Decreasing group (OR 2.04; P <0.051). Childhood trauma was associated with CAPE score and with all developmental trajectories of subclinical psychosis. No evidence was found for an interaction between trauma and parental psychopathology. Conclusion: The development and persistence of subthreshold psychotic symptoms may be conditional on non-interacting proxy genetic and environmental influences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-273
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • adolescence
  • psychosis
  • development
  • trauma
  • parental psychopathology

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