Perceived discrimination and psychosis : A systematic review of the literature

Pearce, Josie and Rafiq, Sonya and Simpson, Jane and Varese, Filippo (2019) Perceived discrimination and psychosis : A systematic review of the literature. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 54 (9). 1023–1044. ISSN 0933-7954

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Purpose Higher rates of psychosis have been reported in minority groups. Since individuals belonging to such groups are vulnerable to the experiences of discrimination, and in line with models proposing that social and life adversity may play a causal role in development and maintenance of psychotic experiences, it has been proposed that perceived discrimination may represent an important determinant of psychotic experiences. This paper reviews the literature examining the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychosis, examining whether discrimination is associated with an increased risk of psychosis, the severity of psychotic symptoms and whether there is an association with specific psychotic symptoms. Methods A systematic database search of PsycINFO, Embase and PubMed was conducted to identify quantitative cross-sectional and prospective studies that examined the association between discrimination and psychosis. Results Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria, four of which used prospective designs and twenty used cross-sectional designs. The main findings indicated that discrimination may be associated with an increased risk of psychosis (too few studies to determine whether discrimination is associated with severity). Some studies found associations between discrimination and positive psychotic experiences and/or specific psychotic experiences such as paranoia. A small number of studies found that greater exposure to discrimination was associated with a greater likelihood of reporting psychotic experiences, tentatively indicating a dose–response relationship. Conclusions This review indicates that discrimination plays an important role in the experience of psychosis; however, future research is required to clarify the nature of this relationship. Avenues for further research and clinical implications are proposed.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Additional Information:
The final publication is available at Springer via
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? perceived discriminationtraumaminoritypsychosishealth(social science)social psychologyepidemiologypsychiatry and mental health ??
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Deposited On:
20 May 2019 11:05
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:31