Unraveling the complexity of associations between a history of childhood trauma, psychotic-like experiences, depression and non-suicidal self-injury : A network analysis


Several studies have reported the association of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). It has been hypothesized that both constructs might share overlapping backgrounds. This study aimed to investigate the relationships between childhood trauma, depression, PLEs and lifetime characteristics of NSSI.



Participants included individuals aged 18–35 years who had a negative history of psychiatric treatment. They were surveyed through the computer-assisted web interview. A network analysis was performed.



A total of 4203 non-clinical adults (63.8 % females) were enrolled. The characteristics of NSSI and a history of childhood sexual abuse were the most central nodes in the network. A history of childhood sexual abuse was the only category of childhood trauma that was directly connected to the characteristics of NSSI (i.e., longer lifetime duration of NSSI). The shortest pathways from other categories of childhood trauma (emotional abuse, emotional neglect and bullying) were connected to the lifetime characteristics through the effects of sexual abuse. However, other pathways were also possible and converged on nodes representing persecutory thoughts, déjàvu experiences, psychomotor retardation/agitation and suicidal ideation. These psychopathological symptoms were the only nodes directly connected to the characteristics of NSSI (i.e., lifetime duration and a history of severe NSSI).



The main limitations include the use of a non-clinical sample and cross-sectional design.



Our findings do not support the hypothesis that PLEs and NSSI might be associated due to shared correlates. In other words, the associations of childhood trauma and PLEs with NSSI might be independent.




  • LEs are associated with longer lifetime duration and the risk of severe NSSI.
  • Déjà vu experiences and persecutory thoughts are most closely related to the risk of NSSI.
  • PLEs and NSSI might be interrelated beyond the effects of shared correlates.


Błażej Misiak, Monika Szewczuk-Bogusławska, Jerzy Samochowiec, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Łukasz Gawęda, | 2023
In: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports ; ISSN: 2666-9153 | 337 | september | 11-17
Adults, Child Abuse, Depressive Symptoms, Early Childhood Trauma, Epigenetics, Mental health, Psychosis, Statistical Analysis, Suicidality, Young Adults