Child Maltreatment and Psychosis

Child Maltreatment and Psychosis: A Return to a Genuinely Integrated Bio-Psycho-Social Model

John Read 1, Paul Jay Fink 2, Thom Rudegeair 3, Vincent Felitti 4, Charles L. Whitfield 5 

For several decades the conceptualization and treatment of mental health problems, including psychosis, have been dominated by a rather narrow focus on genes and brain functions. Psychosocial factors have been relegated to mere triggers or exacerbators of a supposed genetic predisposition. This paper advocates a return to the original stress-vulnerability model proposed by Zubin and Spring in 1977, in which heightened vulnerability to stress is not, as often wrongly assumed, necessarily genetically inherited, but can be acquired via adverse life events. There is now a large body of research demonstrating that child abuse and neglect are significant causal factors for psychosis. Ten out of eleven recent general population studies have found, even after controlling for other factors, including family history of psychosis, that child maltreatment is significantly related to psychosis. Eight of these studies tested for, and found, a dose-response. Interpreting these findings from psychological and biological perspectives generates a genuinely integrated bio-psycho-social approach as originally intended by Zubin and Spring. The routine taking of trauma histories from all users of mental health services is recommended, and a staff training program to facilitate this is described.

Please download the following PDF to read the whole paper.

Download this file (CLINICAL SCHIZOPHRENIA published Read et al. paper.pdf)Child maltreatment and psychosis[ ]1554 kB

Angels at my Table - NZ Research Paper on Hearing Voices

Angels at our Tables: A summary of the findings from a 3-year research project into New Zealanders’ Experiences of Hearing Voices

Vanessa Beavan 1, John Read 2, and Claire Cartwright 3

In 2003, researchers at the University of Auckland began developing a project to investigate the experience of hearing voices in the general New Zealand population. The idea for the project was based on international research suggesting that hearing voices is a relatively common experience, reported by approximately 5 to 10% of the general population. Findings from these international studies also demonstrated that voices could be experienced in many different ways, from positive and enriching to negative and distressing.

Rationale and objectives of the research:

The New Zealand study had 4 main objectives:

  1. To map the range of hearing voices experiences in the general population. This included investigating topographical characteristics such as content, form and identity of voices, as well as the impact the experience has on people’s lives.
  2. To explore voice-hearers’ own explanatory models and analyse how these relate to the ways in which their voices are experienced.
  3. To increase knowledge about effective ways of managing voices. This included identifying coping strategies that voice-hearers use and evaluating their effectiveness, as well as exploring voice-hearers’ experiences with mental health agencies and other support services.
  4. To seek out and describe the essential structure of the phenomenon of hearing voices, in an attempt to provide a definition of this phenomenon that will fit across the range of different voice-hearing experiences.

To read in its entirety, please download the PDF below.

Download this file (Angels at my Table research into NZ Hearing Voices experiences..pdf)Angels at my table- Beaven[ ]178 kB

The Mauve Factor - A Lecture by Woody McGinnis

The following are notes taken from a lecture by Woody McGinnis in Auckland for SFNZ in 2008. They were taken by hand, so may not be as comprehensive as those of Woody McGinnis himself. You can also see his published research in our Research section. Here are my notes from Woodys lecture.

(My version of it is by no means exact, so please excuse any error.)

Woody was talking on Oxidative Stress and the Mauve Factor. His background is a Behavioural Nutritionist and also a parent of a child with a behavioral disorder - severe ADHD. He was a GP, now specialises in research.

Woody started by talking of research on ADHD that a lady had done in her neighbourhood with other parents and co-related their physical symptoms and appearances in a tabulated form. The results showed that dry skin / eczema / and other symptoms were prevalent. This suggested a deficiency in fatty acids. They discovered that evening primrose oil and zinc were beneficial for these these problems, as well as treating the ADHD symptoms.  

'The Mauve Factor' refers to a urine test that shows lilac on the paper chromatography test. It was discovered by Abram Hoffer in 1961. He found 27 out of 39 of those with early schizophrenic diagnosis showed a high mauve factor. When he treated 7 with Niacinamide the Mauve went from positve to negative. When their symptoms reappeared the Mauve reappeared also. 

Here are the levels of the Mauve factor positive test in people tested:

  • Down syndrome 71%
  • Schizophrenic 40- 80%
  • Autism 46-48%
  • ADHD 40-47%
  • ETHOH 20-84%

He explained that there was some confusion over what the Mauve factor represented - twice in research. But it now has been established that it is Hydroxyhempyrrolin-2-one (HPL). 

He said Mauve was highest in the evening before bed. Tests could also be effected by the amount of water the subject had been drinking. All the data has been taken retrospectively from other research, allowing for very low costs.

All those with elevated Mauve had borderline B6 activity i.e. were deficient in this vitamin.

Read more: The Mauve Factor - A Lecture by Woody McGinnis