Contributions of childhood trauma and atypical development to increased clinical symptoms and poor functioning in recent onset psychosis

Adi Rosenthal, Monet S. Meyer, Danessa Mayo, Laura M. Tully, Pooja Patel, Stefania Ashby, Madison Titone, Cameron S. Carter, Tara A. Niendam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: The trauma-psychosis cycle proposes an interactive relationship between impaired developmental and cognitive trajectory, childhood trauma exposure, and increased risk for psychosis. This study explored how childhood trauma (CT) and atypical development (AD) impact clinical course in an early psychosis cohort. Methods: A retrospective chart review of behavioural and clinical research data was conducted with individuals ages 12 to 40 (N = 508; 72.4% males) evaluated by an early psychosis program. Results: CT exposure was associated with earlier onset of full threshold psychosis, more hospitalizations, higher ratings of negative symptoms, and increased likelihood of engaging in suicidal behaviour. AD alone was associated with earlier onset of psychosis symptoms, higher ratings of negative symptoms and greater likelihood of engaging in non-suicidal self-injury. The combination of CT and AD was associated with the earliest symptom onset and poorest psychosocial functioning. Conclusions: The findings contribute to our understanding of heterogeneity in the early psychosis population and highlight the specific risk factors that could be targets in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • atypical development
  • childhood trauma
  • clinical course
  • early psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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