Adverse childhood experiences common in schizophrenia

Adverse childhood experiences common in schizophrenia

Patients with schizophrenia often have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), according to a study published online Aug. 28 in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Lei Zhang, Ph.D., from Tongji University in Shanghai, and colleagues examined the frequency and distribution of ACEs among patients with schizophrenia in a cross-sectional study involving 571 patients with schizophrenia. The Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale was used to assess symptomatology, and the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire Fourth Edition Plus was used to assess personality pathology.

The researchers found that ACEs were highly prevalent, with at least one ACE reported by 80.8 percent of patients with schizophrenia. Physical neglect, emotional neglect, and emotional abuse were the three most common types of ACE (69.8, 28.2, and 22.9 percent, respectively). Emotional abuse was significantly associated with personality disorder traits, while significant associations were seen for emotional and physical neglect with negative symptoms.

Men, younger individuals, and those with a higher level of antisocial personality disorder traits more commonly reported a higher level of physical abuse. More severe negative symptoms were seen in association with higher levels of physical neglect.

“Future research should further explore the complex relationships among ACEs, psychotic symptoms, and personality pathology. Longitudinal studies can provide valuable insight into the trajectories and progression of these effects over time,” the authors write. “Such knowledge could ultimately inform the development of more effective interventions and treatment approaches for patients with schizophrenia and history of ACEs.”

More information:
Lei Zhang et al, Adverse childhood experiences in patients with schizophrenia: related factors and clinical implications, Frontiers in Psychiatry (2023). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1247063

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