Evidence for a familial correlation between increased reactivity to stress and positive psychotic symptoms
Article first published online: 11 MAY 2010
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 122, Issue 5, pages 395–404, November 2010
How to Cite
Lataster, T., Collip, D., Lardinois, M., Van Os, J. and Myin-Germeys, I. (2010), Evidence for a familial correlation between increased reactivity to stress and positive psychotic symptoms. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 122: 395–404. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2010.01566.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 11 MAY 2010
- Accepted for publication March 18, 2010
- family studies;
- risk factors;
Lataster T, Collip D, Lardinois M, van Os J, Myin-Germeys I. Evidence for a familial correlation between increased reactivity to stress and positive psychotic symptoms.
Objective: This study tested the hypothesis that stress-reactivity may represent an intermediary phenotype underlying positive psychotic symptoms. It was examined whether: (i) stress-reactivity clusters within families of psychotic patients and (ii) stress-reactivity in relatives cosegregates with positive symptoms in patients.
Method: The sample consisted of 40 patients and 47 siblings of these patients. The Experience Sampling Method (ESM – a structured diary technique) was used to measure stress-reactivity. Positive symptoms in patients were measured with the Comprehensive Assessment of Symptoms and History.
Results: Within-trait, cross-sib associations showed a significant association between stress-reactivity in the patient and stress-reactivity in their siblings. Significant cross-trait, cross-sib associations were established showing a significant association between positive psychotic symptoms in the patient and stress-reactivity in the sibling.
Conclusion: The findings show familial clustering of increased stress-reactivity, suggesting common aetiological influences, probably both genetic and environmental, underlying stress-reactivity in the siblings and patients. In addition, the results underscore the hypothesis that increased stress-reactivity is an unconfounded mechanism of risk underlying the positive symptoms of psychotic disorders.