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Hove, United Kingdom

Thompson A.D.,Orygen Youth Health | Thompson A.D.,University of Melbourne | Thompson A.D.,Sussex Education Center | Nelson B.,Orygen Youth Health | And 12 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin

Studies indicate a high prevalence of childhood trauma in patient cohorts with established psychotic disorder and in those at risk of developing psychosis. A causal link between childhood trauma and development of psychosis has been proposed. We aimed to examine the association between experience of childhood trauma and the development of a psychotic disorder in a large "Ultra High Risk" (UHR) for psychosis cohort. The data were collected as part of a longitudinal cohort study of all UHR patients recruited to research studies at the Personal Assessment and Clinical Evaluation clinic between 1993 and 2006. Baseline data were collected at recruitment to these studies. The participants completed a comprehensive follow-up assessment battery (mean time to follow-up 7.5 years, range 2.4-14.9 years), which included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), a self-report questionnaire that assesses experience of childhood trauma. The outcome of interest was transition to a psychotic disorder during the follow-up period. Data were available on 233 individuals. Total CTQ trauma score was not associated with transition to psychosis. Of the individual trauma types, only sexual abuse was associated with transition to psychosis (P =. 02). The association remained when adjusting for potential confounding factors. Those with high sexual abuse scores were estimated to have a transition risk 2-4 times that of those with low scores. The findings suggest that sexual trauma may be an important contributing factor in development of psychosis for some individuals. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. Source

Petfield L.,University of Sussex | Startup H.,Sussex Education Center | Droscher H.,University of Sussex | Cartwright-Hatton S.,University of Sussex
Evidence-Based Mental Health

Question This systematic review explores two questions: what parenting difficulties are experienced by mothers with borderline personality disorder (BPD); and what impact do these have on her children? Study selection and analysis Studies had to include mothers with a diagnosis of BPD, who was the primary caregiver to a child/children under 19 years. PsycINFO and MEDLINE were screened (update: July 2014), yielding 17 relevant studies. Findings Mothers with BPD are often parenting in the context of significant additional risk factors, such as depression, substance use and low support. Interactions between mothers with BPD and their infants are at risk of low sensitivity and high intrusiveness, and mothers have difficulty in correctly identifying their emotional state. Levels of parenting stress are high, and self-reported competence and satisfaction are low. The family environment is often hostile and low in cohesion, and mothers with BPD show low levels of mind-mindedness but high levels of overprotection of older children. Outcomes for children are poor compared with both children of healthy mothers, and mothers with other disorders. Infants of mothers with BPD have poorer interactions with their mother (eg, less positive affect and vocalising, more dazed looks and looks away). Older children exhibit a range of cognitive–behavioural risk factors (eg, harm avoidance, dysfunctional attitudes and attributions), and have poorer relationships with their mothers. Unsurprisingly, given these findings, children of mothers with BPD have poorer mental health in a range of domains. Conclusions This review highlights the elevated need for support in these mother–child dyads. © 2015, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Source

Jackson L.J.,Salomons Center for Applied Social and Psychological Development | Hayward M.,Sussex Education Center | Hayward M.,University of Surrey | Cooke A.,Salomons Center for Applied Social and Psychological Development
International Journal of Social Psychiatry

Background: Research has been exploring the phenomenon of 'voice hearing' within a relational framework. To date, studies have paid limited attention to voice hearers who view the experience positively. Material: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five mental health service users and seven non-service users who had had positive experiences of hearing voices. Interview transcripts were analyzed using Grounded Theory. Conclusions: The preliminary theory suggests that the moderation of fear and control may impact on relationships with voices. Actively engaging with voices to understand their subjective meaning may be beneficial. Promoting a positive self-concept and connecting with communities who value and accept voice-hearing experiences may be particularly important. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

Bogdanov V.B.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Bogdanov V.B.,Taras Shevchenko National University | Bogdanova O.V.,Taras Shevchenko National University | Gorlov D.S.,Taras Shevchenko National University | And 6 more authors.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology

BACKGROUND:: Alexithymia, the inability to describe one's own emotions, is linked to deficits in empathy, manifesting as a diminished capacity to recognize or understand the emotions and mental states of others. Several brain centers of autonomic control and interoception that are activated in empathy are thought to misfunction in alexithymia. We hypothesized that individual differences in autonomic changes under affective stimulation might be associated with differences in alexithymia and empathy. METHODS:: We studied 21 healthy volunteers, comparing their alexithymia and empathy scores with changes in their sympathetic autonomic arousal, indexed by the palmar skin potential level, during 3 tasks: playing a computer game, performing mental arithmetic, and watching a negative emotional valence video. RESULTS:: Both autonomic and subjective sense of arousal increased at the beginning of each task and then gradually subsided over the course of the task. Higher autonomic arousal at the onset of the computer game was associated with higher empathy scores, and at the onset of the negative video with higher scores for both empathy and alexithymia. Alexithymia delayed the habituation of autonomic arousal during the computer game, while the empathy score was related to a faster decline in arousal during the negative video task. CONCLUSIONS:: High alexithymia and high empathy scores were linked to increased autonomic arousal at the onset of emotional stimulation, but were distinguishable in the rates of habituation of the evoked arousal. Our data provide insight into the relationships among interacting psychological traits, physiologic regulation, and the arousal dimension of emotional experience. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Dannahy L.,Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust | Hayward M.,Sussex Education Center | Hayward M.,University of Surrey | Strauss C.,Sussex Education Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry

The present study examines the impact of group Person-Based Cognitive Therapy (PBCT) for distressing voices within an uncontrolled evaluation. In particular it utilizes a framework of acceptance of voices and self to enhance well-being and reduce distress and perceived voice-control. Sixty-two participants entered one of nine PBCT groups conducted over 8-12 sessions. Fifty participants completed therapy. Measures of well-being, distress, control and relating characteristics were completed pre- and post-therapy and at brief follow-up. Data were subjected to an intention-to-treat analysis. The groups achieved significant benefits in terms of well-being, distress, control and dependence upon the voice. The present study is the first to report significant improvement in both distress and control. Consequently, Group PBCT for distressing voices may prove a useful addition to existing psychological interventions and is worthy of further investigation. The findings are discussed in relation to clinical implications and limitations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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