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Familial risk and childhood adversity interplay in the onset of psychosis

  • Antonella Trotta (a1), Marta Di Forti (a1), Conrad lyegbe (a1), Priscilla Green (a1), Paola Dazzan (a1), Valeria Mondelli (a2), Craig Morgan (a3), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Helen L. Fisher (a4)...



The association between childhood adversity and psychosis in adulthood is well established. However, genetic factors might confound or moderate this association.


Using a catchment-based case-control sample, we explored the main effects of, and interplay between, childhood adversity and family psychiatric history on the onset of psychosis.


Childhood adversity (parental separation and death, physical and sexual abuse) was assessed retrospectively in 224 individuals with a first presentation of psychosis and 256 community controls from South London, UK. Occurrence of psychotic and affective disorders in first-degree relatives was ascertained with the Family Interview for Genetic Studies (FIGS).


Parental history of psychosis did not confound the association between childhood adversity and psychotic disorder. There was no evidence that childhood adversity and familial liability combined synergistically to increase odds of psychosis beyond the effect of each individually.


Our results do not support the hypothesis that family psychiatric history amplifies the effect of childhood adversity on odds of psychosis.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Helen L. Fisher, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email:


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Familial risk and childhood adversity interplay in the onset of psychosis

  • Antonella Trotta (a1), Marta Di Forti (a1), Conrad lyegbe (a1), Priscilla Green (a1), Paola Dazzan (a1), Valeria Mondelli (a2), Craig Morgan (a3), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Helen L. Fisher (a4)...


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Familial risk and childhood adversity interplay in the onset of psychosis

  • Antonella Trotta (a1), Marta Di Forti (a1), Conrad lyegbe (a1), Priscilla Green (a1), Paola Dazzan (a1), Valeria Mondelli (a2), Craig Morgan (a3), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Helen L. Fisher (a4)...
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