Does Armed Conflict Exposure Predict Psychotic Experiences in the General Population? An Experience Sampling Study

Josefin Westh, Marc Gelkopf, Michael A.P. Bloomfield, Talya Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is mounting evidence that exposure to psychological stress and trauma increases risk of subsequent psychotic experiences (PE). However, we lack a clear understanding of the relationships between histories of trauma, stressful events in adulthood, and PE. In the present study, our aim was to investigate whether trauma history augments the risk of experiencing PE when exposed to later stressors in adulthood. We sought to address this by examining the relationship between exposure to rocket-warning sirens and PE during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, using experience sampling. Our sample consisted of 97 healthy Israeli civilians who reported their experiences via smartphone twice daily for 30 days. We conducted multilevel models with time and siren exposure as predictors to estimate PE during the conflict. Siren exposure elicited PE, and PE decreased over time as the conflict persisted. People who had experienced previous trauma in adulthood were more likely to have PE when exposed to sirens compared with people who had experienced childhood trauma. Our current findings are broadly consistent with contemporary models of psychosis, which suggest that stress is involved in its aetiology and could have important implications for early detection and intervention in psychosis.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • experience sampling
  • general population
  • psychotic experiences
  • stress
  • trauma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology

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