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Tuesday, October 9 • 1:05pm - 1:25pm
Symposium 12, Talk 1. "Psychological mediators of the association between childhood adversities and psychosis"

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Sandra Bucci1, Jessica Williams1, Filippo Varese1, Katherine Berry1; 1Division of Psychology and Mental Health, University of Manchester, U.K.
Background: Risk for psychosis has been linked to a range of adverse life experiences and circumstances. Particular interest has been given to the relationship between psychosis and exposure to potentially traumatic life events in childhood to identify the impact of socio-environmental precursors to psychosis. This talk will report on a series of studies our group have conducted exploring psychological mediators of the relationship between childhood adversities and psychosis. Methods: We present findings from a systematic review, which identified 36 papers, comprising 9,057 participants with psychotic disorders and 58,782 non-clinical participants. Results: Despite great variation in the mediators considered and the methodological and analytic quality of the primary studies, our synthesis suggests the relationship between childhood adversity and psychosis is mediated by a several “families” of mediating variables including post-traumatic sequelae (e.g. dissociation, PTSD symptoms), affective dysfunction and dysregulation, and maladaptive cognitive factors (e.g. self-esteem and beliefs and concepts about the self and others; and miscellaneous (neuroticism and mastery; mindfulness; proximal life stressors). We have also conducted a series of studies investigating mechanisms involved in explaining the trauma-psychosis link, including attachment, particularly the role of disorganised attachment, and dissociative processes, and present findings from these studies in this talk. Discussion: The importance of the five different (but not independent or mutually exclusive) families of mediators considered in our work should be examined by future research employing appropriate modelling methods to better disentangle the contribution of these different processes.


Sandra Bucci

University of Manchester

Tuesday October 9, 2018 1:05pm - 1:25pm EDT
American Ballroom-Center Westin Copley Place, fourth floor