The role of life events in onset and recurrent episodes of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder

Academic Article


  • The experience of both positive and negative recent life events has long been recognized as a possible precipitant of episodes of psychiatric illness. Among individuals with recurrent mood disorders, investigators have found that recent life events are more likely to be associated with initial and early episodes of illness, with later episodes less likely to be temporally associated with life events. This study investigated the relationship between recent life events and episodes of illness in schizophrenia (defined as the number of acute episodes of schizophrenia requiring hospitalization). Among 32 male U.S. Military veteran inpatients, those with three or fewer episodes of illness reported significantly more recent life events than those patients with more than three episodes of illness (P = 0.01). Overall, recent life events were negatively correlated with number of episodes (P < 0.05). These data suggest that initial or early episodes of schizophrenic illness are more likely to be associated with recent life events than are later episodes.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Castine MR; Meador-Woodruff JH; Dalack GW
  • Start Page

  • 283
  • End Page

  • 288
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 5