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Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

Early Traumatic Experiences, Perceived Discrimination and Conversion to Psychosis in Those at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

By Jacqueline Stowkowy, Lu Liu, Kristin S. Cadenhead, Tyrone D. Cannon, Barbara A. CornblattThomas H. McGlashan, Diana O. Perkins, Larry J. Seidman, Ming T. Tsuang, Elaine F. WalkerScott W. Woods, Carrie E. Bearden, Daniel H. Mathalon, and Jean Addington | Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology | February 6, 2016

Abstract:

Purpose

There is evidence to suggest that both early traumatic experiences and perceived discrimination are associated with later onset of psychosis. Less is known about the impact these two factors may have on conversion to psychosis in those who are at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis. The purpose of this study was to determine if trauma and perceived discrimination were predictors of conversion to psychosis.

Methods

The sample consisted of 764 individuals who were at CHR of developing psychosis and 280 healthy controls. All participants were assessed on past trauma, bullying and perceived discrimination.

Results

Individuals at CHR reported significantly more trauma, bullying and perceived discrimination than healthy controls. Only perceived discrimination was a predictor of later conversion to psychosis.

Conclusions

Given that CHR individuals are reporting increased rates of trauma and perceived discrimination, these should be routinely assessed, with the possibility of offering interventions aimed at ameliorating the impact of past traumas as well as improving self-esteem and coping strategies in an attempt to reduce perceived discrimination.

Read the entire article here.