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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter contains a review and discussion of evidence linking various types of psychosocial stress with the onset and course of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Stress has long been considered an important factor in the etiology of psychosis and psychotic disorders. Specifically, stress is thought to interact with pre-existing biological vulnerabilities to trigger psychosis through complex changes to various biological processes (e.g., changes to HPA axis, neurotransmitter activity, and inflammatory processes). This chapter includes discussion of a wide variety of stress experiences, including daily hassles, life events, trauma, childhood adversity, and minority stress, and explores the scientific evidence linking these stressors with psychosis and psychotic disorders. Biological processes and biomarkers associated with both stress and psychosis are also discussed. Finally, important questions relating to the future study of stress and psychosis are considered.

Keywords: schizophrenia, psychosis, stress, trauma, childhood adversity, minority stress, HPA axis

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