The Independent Effects of Psychosocial Stressors on Subclinical Psychosis: Findings from the Multinational EU-GEI Study

Baptiste Pignon*, Mohamed Lajnef, James B. Kirkbride, Hugo Peyre, Aziz Ferchiou, Jean Romain Richard, Grégoire Baudin, Sarah Tosato, Hannah Jongsma, Lieuwe De Haan, Ilaria Tarricone, Miguel Bernardo, Eva Velthorst, Mauro Braca, Celso Arango, Manuel Arrojo, Julio Bobes, Cristina Marta Del-Ben, Marta Di Forti, Charlotte Gayer-AndersonPeter B. Jones, Caterina La Cascia, Antonio Lasalvia, Paulo Rossi Menezes, Diego Quattrone, Julio Sanjuán, Jean Paul Selten, Andrea Tortelli, Pierre Michel Llorca, Jim Van Os, Bart P.F. Rutten, Robin M. Murray, Craig Morgan, Marion Leboyer, Andrei Szöke, Franck Schürhoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of psychosocial stressors on psychosis risk has usually been studied in isolation and after the onset of the disorder, potentially ignoring important confounding relationships or the fact that some stressors that may be the consequence of the disorder rather than preexisting. The study of subclinical psychosis could help to address some of these issues. In this study, we investigated whether there was (i) an association between dimensions of subclinical psychosis and several psychosocial stressors including: Childhood trauma, self-reported discrimination experiences, low social capital, and stressful life experiences, and (ii) any evidence of environment-environment (ExE) interactions between these factors. Data were drawn from the EUGEI study, in which healthy controls (N = 1497) and siblings of subjects with a psychotic disorder (N = 265) were included in six countries. The association between psychosocial stressors and subclinical psychosis dimensions (positive, negative and depressive dimension as measured by the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) scale) and possible ExE interactions were assessed using linear regression models. After adjusting for sex, age, ethnicity, country, and control/sibling status, childhood trauma (β for positive dimension: 0.13, negative: 0.49, depressive: 0.26) and stressful life events (positive: 0.08, negative: 0.16, depressive: 0.17) were associated with the three dimensions. Lower social capital was associated with the negative and depression dimensions (negative: 0.26, depressive: 0.13), and self-reported discrimination experiences with the positive dimension (0.06). Our findings are in favor of independent, cumulative and non-specific influences of social adversities in subclinical psychosis in non-clinical populations, without arguments for E × E interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1684
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021


  • childhood trauma
  • Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE)
  • depressive subclinical symptoms
  • discrimination
  • negative subclinical symptoms
  • positive subclinical symptoms
  • psychosocial stress
  • psychotic symptoms
  • schizotypy
  • social capital
  • stressful life events
  • subclinical psychosis


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