Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 129
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Yang, Chunxia Sun, Ning Liu, Zhifen Li, Xinrong Xu, Yong and Zhang, Kerang 2016. The interaction of combined effects of the BDNF and PRKCG genes and negative life events in major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 237, p. 72.

    Phillips, Anna C. Carroll, Douglas and Der, Geoff 2015. Negative life events and symptoms of depression and anxiety: stress causation and/or stress generation. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 357.

    Dorrington, Sarah Zammit, Stan Asher, Laura Evans, Jonathan Heron, Jonathan and Lewis, Glyn 2014. Perinatal maternal life events and psychotic experiences in children at twelve years in a birth cohort study. Schizophrenia Research, Vol. 152, Issue. 1, p. 158.

    Ayub, Muhammad Mushtaq, Imran Mushtaq, Salman Hafeez, Muhammad Adnan Helal, Nabeel Irfan, Muhammad Hassan, Bushra Tiffin, Paul and Naeem, Farooq 2013. Domestic violence, mental illness and suicidal ideation – A study from Lahore, Pakistan. Journal of Mental Health, Vol. 22, Issue. 6, p. 474.

    Bennik, Elise C Ormel, Johan and Oldehinkel, Albertine J 2013. Life changes and depressive symptoms: the effects of valence and amount of change. BMC Psychology, Vol. 1, Issue. 1,

    de Vet, Renée van Luijtelaar, Maurice J. A. Brilleslijper-Kater, Sonja N. Vanderplasschen, Wouter Beijersbergen, Mariëlle D. and Wolf, Judith R. L. M. 2013. Effectiveness of Case Management for Homeless Persons: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 103, Issue. 10, p. e13.

    Kayali, Tamara and Iqbal, Furhan 2012. Making sense of melancholy: Sub-categorisation and the perceived risk of future depression. Health, Risk & Society, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 171.

    Bebbington, Paul E. and Kuipers, Elizabeth 2011. Schizophrenia.

    Graham, Neil M. H. 2010. PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS AS A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM: HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW?. Community Health Studies, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 151.

    McFARLANE, ALEXANDER C. 2010. The long-term costs of traumatic stress: intertwined physical and psychological consequences. World Psychiatry, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Yang, Chunxia Xu, Yong Sun, Ning Ren, Yan Liu, Zhifen Cao, Xiaohua and Zhang, Kerang 2010. The combined effects of the BDNF and GSK3B genes modulate the relationship between negative life events and major depressive disorder. Brain Research, Vol. 1355, p. 1.

    Daly, Oscar 2009. Trauma and psychosis. Psychiatry, Vol. 8, Issue. 8, p. 315.

    Docherty, N. M. St-Hilaire, A. Aakre, J. M. and Seghers, J. P. 2009. Life Events and High-Trait Reactivity Together Predict Psychotic Symptom Increases in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol. 35, Issue. 3, p. 638.

    Gigi, Ariela 2009. The role of stress and anxiety in the onset of familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD): Review. Stress, Vol. 12, Issue. 5, p. 371.

    Dayan, J. and Baleyte, J.-M. 2008. Les dépressions périnatales.

    FALLON, P. 2008. Life events; their role in onset and relapse in psychosis, research utilizing semi-structured interview methods: a literature review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 15, Issue. 5, p. 386.

    Richman, N. 2008. The Effects of Housing on Pre-school Children and Their Mothers. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 53.

    Roth, M. Gurney, C. Mountjoy, C. Q. Kerr, T. A. and Schapira, K. 2008. Ciba Foundation Symposium 39 - Monoamine Oxidase and its Inhibition.

    Faravelli, Carlo Catena, Mario Scarpato, Alessandra and Ricca, Valdo 2007. Epidemiology of Life Events: Life Events and Psychiatric Disorders in the Sesto Fiorentino Study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 76, Issue. 6, p. 361.

    Magnusson, David and Stattin, H��kan 2007. Handbook of Child Psychology.


Life events and psychiatric disorders1 Part 2: nature of causal link

  • G. W. Brown (a1), T. O. Harris (a1) and J. Peto (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

Methods are first described for testing for and measuring the proportion involved in the causal link between life-events and psychiatric disorders; the paper then deals with the nature of the causal effect itself. A method is described (and developed mathematically in an appendix) which enables a choice to be made between a triggering effect in which events are seen as precipitating an illness that would probably have occurred before long for other reasons, and a formative effect in which life-events either substantially advance onset in time, or bring it about altogether. The method is used to demonstrate the presence of a formative effect in depressive and a triggering effect in schizophrenic disorders.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. L. T. Birley , and G. W. Brown (1970). Crises and life changes preceding the onset or relapse of acute schizophrenia: clinical aspects. British Journal of Psychiatry, 116, 327333.

G. W. Brown (1959). Experiences of discharged chronic schizophrenic patients in various types of living group. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 37, 105131.

G. W. Brown , and J. L. T. Birley (1968). Crises and life changes and the onset of schizophrenia. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 9, 203214.

G. W. Brown , J. L. T. Birley , and J. K. Wing (1972a). Influence of family life on the course of schizophrenic disorders: a replication. British Journal of Psychiatry, 121, 241258.

D. Russell Davis (1970). Depression as adaption to crisis. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 43, 109116.

C. M. Parkes (1964). Recent bereavement as a cause of mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry, 110, 198204.

E. S. Paykel , J. K. Myers , M. N. Dienelt , G. L. Klerman , J. J. Lindenthal , and M. P. Pepper (1969). Life events and depression: a controlled study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 21, 753760.

D. D. Reid (1961). Precipitating proximal factors in the occurrence of mental disorders: epidemiological evidence. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 39, 227250.

H. R. Steinberg , and J. Durell (1968). A stressful situation as a precipitant of schizophrenic symptoms: an epidemiological study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 114, 10971105.

P. H. Wender (1967). On necessary and sufficient conditions in psychiatric explanation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 16, 4147.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *