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Trauma and psychosis: the mediating role of self concept clarity and dissociation

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/08/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychiatry Research
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)626-632
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/06/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Childhood trauma (CT) and psychosis may be associated. Drawing on the dissociation and social psychological literature, the current study examined the mediating role of structural aspects of self in explaining the relationship between childhood trauma and psychosis. Twenty-nine individuals with psychosis were compared with 31 healthy volunteers regarding childhood trauma, dissociation and self-concept clarity (SCC). High rates of maltreatment were found in the psychosis sample. Additionally, clinical participants reported more dissociation and less self-concept clarity. Mediational analyses were carried out on pooled data from across both clinical and non-clinical samples. These suggested that the influence of physical neglect in increasing the likelihood of experiencing psychosis was explicable through the effects of increased dissociation. Self-concept clarity mediated the relationship between psychosis and total childhood trauma, emotional abuse, physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect. Furthermore, dissociation and self-concept clarity were strongly correlated providing evidence that they may form a unitary underlying concept of 'self-concept integration'. The study provides further evidence of the link between childhood trauma and psychosis. Self-concept integration may be adversely affected by negative childhood experiences, which increases psychosis risk. Methodological limitations, clinical implications and suggestions for future research are considered. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.