Are child abuse and schizophrenia linked?
We know the hallmark symptoms: hallucinations, delusions and hearing “voices”. But the causes of schizophrenia are more obscure. Is it mostly linked to inheritance or, as controversially claimed this week, the result of child abuse? “Environmental influence has been underplayed,” says Paul Hammersley of the University of Manchester, UK. He and John Read of the University of Auckland in New Zealand argued in a debate at London’s Institute of Psychiatry that two-thirds of people with schizophrenia have been physically or sexually abused as children. After analysing 40 studies of people with schizophrenia,