The association between childhood adversities and subsequent first onset of psychotic experiences: a cross-national analysis of 23,998 respondents from 17 countries.

Year: 2017
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Authors

McGrath JJ, McLaughlin KA, Saha S, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Al-Hamzawi A, Alonso J, Bruffaerts R, de Girolamo G, de Jonge P, Esan O, Florescu S, Gureje O, Haro JM, Hu CY, Karam EG, Kovess-Masfety V, Lee S, Lepine J, Lim CCW, Medina-Mora ME, Mneimneh Z, Pennell BE, Piazza M, Posada-Villa J, Sampson N, Viana MC, Xavier M, Bromet EJ, Kendler KS, Kessler RC

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although there is robust evidence linking childhood adversities (CAs) and an increased risk for psychotic experiences (PEs), little is known about whether these associations vary across the life-course and whether mental disorders that emerge prior to PEs explain these associations. METHOD: We assessed CAs, PEs and DSM-IV mental disorders in 23 998 adults in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to investigate the associations between CAs and PEs, and the influence of mental disorders on these associations using multivariate logistic models. RESULTS: Exposure to CAs was common, and those who experienced any CAs had increased odds of later PEs [odds ratio (OR) 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9-2.6]. CAs reflecting maladaptive family functioning (MFF), including abuse, neglect, and parent maladjustment, exhibited the strongest associations with PE onset in all life-course stages. Sexual abuse exhibited a strong association with PE onset during childhood (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.6-20.2), whereas Other CA types were associated with PE onset in adolescence. Associations of other CAs with PEs disappeared in adolescence after adjustment for prior-onset mental disorders. The population attributable risk proportion (PARP) for PEs associated with all CAs was 31% (24% for MFF). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to CAs is associated with PE onset throughout the life-course, although sexual abuse is most strongly associated with childhood-onset PEs. The presence of mental disorders prior to the onset of PEs does not fully explain these associations. The large PARPs suggest that preventing CAs could lead to a meaningful reduction in PEs in the population. Psychological Medicine;47(7):1230-1245.

Topic

The association between childhood adversities and subsequent first onset of psychotic experiences: a cross-national analysis of 23,998 respondents from 17 countries.

Keywords

Childhood adversity; World Mental Health survey; discrete-time survival analysis; maladaptive family functioning; population attributable risk proportion; psychotic experiences
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