Early maternal stress and health behaviours and offspring expression of psychosis in adolescence

Authors

  • J. Spauwen,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • L. Krabbendam,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • R. Lieb,

    1. Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology Unit, Kraepelinstrasse 2, Munich
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  • H. U. Wittchen,

    1. Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology Unit, Kraepelinstrasse 2, Munich
    2. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychoatherapy, Technical University Dresden, Chemnitzerstr. 46, Dresden, Germany
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  • J. van Os

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2. Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London, UK
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Jim van Os, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616 (DRT 10), 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
E-mail: j.vanos@sp.unimaas.nl

Abstract

Objective:  It has been suggested that influences operating early in life may affect the risk of postpubertal psychosis outcomes. This hypothesis was tested using a broad outcome of psychotic symptoms expressed in adolescence (prevalence: 15.6%).

Method:  Findings are based on a longitudinal, population-based cohort study of 963 adolescents aged 15–20 years and their parents in the area of Munich, Germany. Trained psychologists assessed adolescents with the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Independently, direct diagnostic interviews were conducted with the parents.

Results:  A range of medical complications of pregnancy and delivery, including lower birth weight, were not associated with the psychosis outcome. However, a number of maternal health behaviours and experiences did show associations, independent of confounders.

Conclusion:  Not maternally reported medical complications of pregnancy and delivery, but maternal prenatal health behaviours predicted expression of psychosis along a continuum in adolescence. This effect may either be direct or constitute a proxy for later postnatal maternal behaviours associated with psychosis risk in the offspring.

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