Early trauma, attachment experiences and comorbidities in schizophrenia

Translated title of the contribution: Early trauma, attachment experiences and comorbidities in schizophrenia

Thalita Gabínio, Thaysse Ricci, Jeffrey P. Kahn, Dolores Malaspina, Helena Moreira, André B. Veras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate attachment patterns in subjects with schizophrenia and their relationships to early traumatic events, psychotic symptoms and comorbidities. Methods: Twenty patients diagnosed with schizophrenia according to criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) underwent retrospective symptom assessment and careful assessment of the number and manner of childhood caregiver changes. The Diagnostic Interview for Psychosis and Affective Disorders (DI-PAD) was used to assess symptoms related to schizophrenia (positive and negative symptoms), depression and mania. Anxiety disorder comorbidities were assessed by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), Yale-Brown Obsessions and Compulsions Scale (Y-BOCS) and Panic and Schizophrenia Interview (PaSI). Experience in Close Relationships – Relationship Structures (ECR-RS) and Early Trauma Inventory Self Report-Short Form (ETISR-SF) were used to assess attachment patterns and traumatic history, respectively. Results: Moderate and significant correlations between attachment patterns and early trauma showed that greater severity of anxious attachment was predicted by a higher frequency of total early traumas (Spearman ρ = 0.446, p = 0.04), mainly general traumas (ρ = 0.526, p = 0.017; including parental illness and separation, as well as natural disaster and serious accidents). Among the correlations between early trauma and comorbid symptoms, panic attacks occurring before the onset of schizophrenia showed significant and positive correlations with ETISR-SF total scores and the sexual trauma subscale. Conclusion: Children with an unstable early emotional life are more vulnerable to the development of psychopathology, such as panic anxiety symptoms. Traumatic events may also predict later schizophrenia.

Translated title of the contributionEarly trauma, attachment experiences and comorbidities in schizophrenia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment
  • Early traumas
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia


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