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Gender differences in the association between childhood abuse and psychosis

  • Helen Fisher (a1), Craig Morgan (a2), Paola Dazzan (a3), Thomas K. Craig (a3), Kevin Morgan (a3), Gerard Hutchinson (a4), Peter B. Jones (a5), Gillian A. Doody (a6), Carmine Pariante (a7), Peter McGuffin (a8), Robin M. Murray (a9), Julian Leff (a9) and Paul Fearon (a9)...
Abstract
Background

Studies demonstrating an association between childhood trauma and psychosis in adulthood have not systematically explored gender differences.

Aims

To investigate gender differences in the prevalence of childhood sexual and physical abuse among people with psychosis in comparison with healthy controls.

Method

The Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse Questionnaire was completed to elicit experiences of sexual and physical abuse during childhood in first-episode psychosis cases and population-based controls.

Results

Among women, those in the cases group were twice as likely to report either physical or sexual abuse compared with controls following adjustment for all confounders. In particular, the effect of physical abuse in women was stronger and more robust than that for sexual abuse. A similar trend was found for psychotic-like experiences in the female control group. No association was found in men.

Conclusions

Reports of severe childhood physical or sexual abuse were associated with psychosis in women but not in men.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Helen Fisher, PO 80, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: h.fisher@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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The ÆSOP study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Stanley Medical Research Institute. H.F. is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the MRC.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Gender differences in the association between childhood abuse and psychosis

  • Helen Fisher (a1), Craig Morgan (a2), Paola Dazzan (a3), Thomas K. Craig (a3), Kevin Morgan (a3), Gerard Hutchinson (a4), Peter B. Jones (a5), Gillian A. Doody (a6), Carmine Pariante (a7), Peter McGuffin (a8), Robin M. Murray (a9), Julian Leff (a9) and Paul Fearon (a9)...
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