Childhood trauma and premorbid adjustment among individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis and normal control subjects


Corresponding author: Ms Maria Tikka, Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Kunnallissairaalantie 20, FIN-20700 Turku, Finland. Email:



Traumatic childhood experiences are associated with psychotic illness and are frequently reported in patients at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. Moreover, deteriorating premorbid functioning from childhood, and through adolescence, is related to greater severity of overall symptomatology and poorer outcomes in patients with psychosis. We studied the prevalence of traumatic childhood experiences and premorbid adjustment and their association with each other in patients at CHR for psychosis and normal control subjects (NCSs).


A total of 20 CHR patients for psychosis and 30 NCSs aged 14 to 35 participated in the present study. The CHR patients were identified as prodromal to psychosis using the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes/Scale of Prodromal Symptoms. Premorbid adjustment was assessed by using the premorbid adjustment scale (PAS), and self-reported childhood trauma was assessed with the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS).


In CHR patients, TADS and PAS scores were higher than in NCSs. In CHR patients, TADS correlated significantly with the PAS general section and observably, but not significantly, with adolescence and adulthood sections.


CHR patients reported more childhood trauma experiences and poorer premorbid adjustment than NCSs. In CHR patients, traumatic childhood experiences are associated with poor general premorbid adjustment.