This paper reviews the literature on the association between experiences of child abuse and neglect and the development of psychoses. It then explores the premise that psychotic patients with a history of maltreatment may comprise a clinically and biological distinct subgroup. The review demonstrates that there is a growing consensus in the field that experiences of child maltreatment contribute to the onset of psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders. There is also strong support for the premise that patients with psychotic disorders and histories of child maltreatment have distinct clinical characteristics and unique treatment needs, and emerging preliminary data to suggest psychotic patients with a history of maltreatment may comprise a distinct neurobiological subgroup. The mechanisms by which experiences of child maltreatment confers risk for psychotic disorders remains unknown, and the review highlights the value of incorporating translational research perspectives to advance knowledge in this area.
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