Depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between childhood adversity and psychotic-like experiences

Presentation First Author: 
Daniel Davies

Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are common in nonclinical populations and may indicate a trajectory towards psychopathology. The relationships between PLEs, childhood adversity (CA) and psychosocial distress were investigated using the first wave of data from the Neuroscience-in-Psychiatry-Network (NSPN), a 2000-strong accelerated longitudinal cohort of adolescent development. 537 people between 14 and 24 were interviewed for PLEs and were included in the analysis. Prevalence of PLEs was 13.78% and did not differ significantly with age or sex. CA and depressive feelings were assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ). Logistic regressions revealed both measures independently predicted the occurrence of PLEs. We used SEM to assess whether depressive symptoms mediated the effects of CA on PLEs. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the CTQ showed three latent factors best fit the observed data. These factors were interpreted as 'Physical-Abuse, 'Sexual-Abuse and 'Lack-of-Care-and-Support. Factor scores were obtained for each participant and used in multiple-group SEM, grouped by sex. In both sexes, only the Lack-of-Care factor had a significant effect on increasing depressive symptoms. In males, the Physical-Abuse and Lack-of-Care factors had an indirect effect on PLEs, mediated by depressive symptoms. There was no direct effect of any adversity factor on PLEs. In females, no significant direct or indirect effects predicted PLEs. Depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between childhood adversity and PLEs, independently of age but differentially across sexes. We are performing complementary analyses in another adolescent cohort, the ROOTS study, to replicate and better understand these findings.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Megan Walberg - Paul Fletcher - Ian Goodyer
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