Children, Cities ,and Psychosis

Are children who grow up in cities more vulnerable to developing mental illness later in life?   A new research study by a team of British and American researchers suggests a strong link between urban living and schizophrenia.

The study, which has recently published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin provides evidence that children growing up in urban settings are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as adults than children raised in rural settings.  According to the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, problems in early development, including during pregnancy, can lead to psychotic symptoms occurring during adolescence or young adulthood because of brain pathology.   Positive psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions, are also surprisingly common in children.   Even though these symptoms are usually temporary, they can suggest later problems such as substance abuse, depression, PTSD, and suicide. 

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.



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