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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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61. Specificity of Childhood Trauma and Attenuated Positive Symptoms in a Non-help-seeking Sample

Background: Trauma has been consistently associated with psychosis risk; however, the specificity of childhood trauma to individual interview-based attenuated positive psychotic symptoms among non-help-seeking individuals has not yet been adequately explored, as only one study to date has examined this relationship among help-seeking individuals and focused only on violent vs. non-violent traumatic events, rather than specific types of traumas.

Methods: We examined the relationship between childhood trauma (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) with type of positive symptom, as measured by the Structural Interview for Psychosis-risk Syndromes (SIPS) among a sample of non-help-seeking undergraduates at a large racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban university (n= 130).

Results: Simple linear regressions were run, with all types of trauma entered into the model to predict each SIPS symptom while controlling for other trauma types, as traumas commonly co-occur. These models revealed that childhood sexual abuse predicted increased disorganized communication [β = .19, t(128) = 1.98, p =.05]. Additionally, childhood emotional neglect was significantly associated with increased suspiciousness/persecutory ideas [β = .34, t(128)= 2.95, p=.004].

Discussion: This study is the first to identify specific attenuated positive psychotic symptoms linked to childhood traumas in a non-help-seeking sample. Specifically, our results suggest that there are differential influences of trauma type on specific positive symptom domains, which could be of potential use to future identification and prevention efforts.

Arielle Ered
Temple University

Lauren Ellman
Temple University


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