Steven Carey PhD student

Psychology Research Institute
 Picture of Steven   Carey

Title of project: Childhood adversity, social defeat, and affective deregulation. Examining alternative pathways to psychosis

Start date: September 2015

This project shall investigate the role of defeating psychosocial stress from childhood adversity, its impact upon later mental health, and the predictive value of certain affective states alongside childhood adversity towards the pathology of psychosis. There is evidence for the significant role of childhood adversity and trauma towards the onset of later life mental illness. Examples of such adversities include peer victimisation, neglect, physical, and sexual abuse. One may note the pyschosocial nature of these and reason the importance particular defeating psychosocial stresses upon dysfunctional psychopathologies. However childhood trauma alone, although a good predictor, is not the sole influence upon psychopathology, as similar traumas may lead to different outcomes across individual cases. One suggestion to illuminate this question is that certain affective states may be mediating precursors to mental illness, towards more dysfunctional psychopathological states (e.g. anxiety prior to depression, dissociation prior to psychosis). One may also note presence of shared symptoms in amongst discrete disorders, and that there appears to be some underlying psychpathological process that influences these various symptoms across disorders. In doing so, this project will investigate the relations amongst these areas of interest, and attempt to illustrate a coherent model of psychopathology that reflects these findings.