Impact of lifetime traumatic experiences on suicidality and likelihood of conversion in a cohort of individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis

Margaux M. Grivel, Wei Leong, Michael D. Masucci, Rebecca A. Altschuler, Leigh Y. Arndt, Samantha L. Redman, Lawrence H. Yang, Gary Brucato, Ragy R. Girgis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent research suggests that trauma history (TH) is a strong socio-environmental risk factor for the development of psychosis. While reported rates of childhood trauma are higher among individuals at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis than in the general population, little research has explored the effects of trauma upon the severity of attenuated positive symptoms. We aimed to explore the specific relationships between TH and baseline symptom severity; likelihood of conversion to full-blown psychosis; suicidal ideation (SI); and suicidal behavior (SB) in a cohort of 200 help-seeking CHR individuals. Participants were evaluated every three months for up to two years using the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes (SIPS). More trauma history was reported by females and Hispanic/Latino participants, while age and race did not significantly distinguish those with and without TH. Individuals with TH reported higher rates of SI and SB than those without. While TH was positively associated with several SIPS subscales, including Unusual Thought Content, Perceptual Abnormalities/Hallucinations, Bizarre Thinking, Sleep Disturbances, and Dysphoric Mood, and negatively associated with Expressed Emotion, results indicated that TH was not significantly related to conversion to psychosis. Moreover, baseline SI was unrelated to conversion and baseline DSM diagnosis, with the exception of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These results suggest that traumatic experiences may significantly impact the severity of attenuated positive symptoms and suicidality in the CHR state, providing new windows for further research and potential intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-553
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - May 2018



  • Attenuated psychosis syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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