A cognitive intermediate phenotype study confirming possible gene-early adversity interaction in psychosis outcome: A general population twin study

Stefanie Pfeifer, Lydia Krabbendam*, Inez Myin-Germeys, Catherine Derom, Marieke Wichers, Nele Jacobs, Evert W. Thiery, Jim van Os

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To investigate the interaction between childhood adversity and genetic risk in the formation of psychotic symptoms, using cognitive speed as indicator of genetic risk.

Methods: In a cross-twin, cross-trait analysis of monozygotic twins in the general population, the association between childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms was examined, using a cognitive intermediary phenotype as genetic risk marker.

Results: Psychotic symptoms in the proband twin were associated with childhood adversity and, independently, with a measure of cognitive speed in the co-twin. The association between childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms was much stronger (interaction: chi(2)=8.48, p=0.004) if cognitive speed was worse.

Conclusion: Higher level of genetic risk associated with psychosis may moderate the impact of childhood adversity on the risk of adult psychotic symptom formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • trauma
  • cognition
  • psychosis-proneness
  • twins
  • genetic risk

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