Childhood trauma and psychosis

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2013 Oct;22(4):629-41. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 Jun 18.


Childhood trauma is a common occurrence and has been associated with psychosis and suggested as a risk factor leading to psychosis and schizophrenia in adulthood. This article introduces the scope of the problem and discusses the evidence for causal relationships between childhood adversities and increased risk for psychosis. The relationship between specific types of trauma and their association with specific psychotic symptoms is described, as well as the manifestations of co-occurring trauma effects and psychosis in adolescents. Clinical presentations and the use of diagnostic instruments, diagnostic comorbidities, and evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions to treat effects of trauma in youth with psychotic illnesses are discussed.

Keywords: Child abuse; Childhood adversity; Childhood maltreatment; Childhood trauma; Psychosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Bullying / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hallucinations / epidemiology
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Parental Death / psychology
  • Parental Death / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy