This thesis describes studies on psychological mechanisms and associated social risk factors for the onset of psychotic symptoms. In the first part, studies are described that examined psychological mechanisms of psychosis at the level of the individual, such as changes in theory of mind and dysfunctional attributions. In the second part, we focus on social factors impacting on these hypothesized psychological mechanisms such as the experiences of discrimination, and different kinds of childhood trauma. Starting from the view that the psychosis phenotype exists as a continuum in nature, the research was conducted not only in patients with psychotic disorders but in particular in individuals on lower levels of the continuum, i.e. individuals with psychotic or psychosis-like experiences and first-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder, who, as a group, have a tenfold increased risk of developing the disorder compared to individuals without a family history of psychosis.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||4 Nov 2004|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2004|