Use of Psychotropic Medication Groups in People with Severe Mental Illness and Stressful Childhood Experiences

Andres R. Schneeberger, Kristina Muenzenmaier, Dorothy Castille, Joseph Battaglia, Bruce Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Stressful childhood experiences (SCE) are associated with a variety of health and social problems. In people with severe mental illness (SMI) traumatic childhood experiences have been linked to more severe and treatment refractory forms of psychiatric symptoms, including psychotic symptoms. This study evaluates the use of psychotropic medication groups in a population of people with SMI and SCE, testing the association between SCE and prescription medication in an SMI population. A sample of 183 participants with SMI was divided into 2 exposure groups: high SCE (4 to 7 categories of SCE) and low SCE (0 to 3 categories of SCE). Both groups were compared in regard to prescribed dosing of psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and anxiolytics/hypnotics). Participants who endorsed high SCE received higher doses of antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers than those with low exposure. The results demonstrate that people with higher SCE categories received a higher dosing of psychotropic medication, specifically antipsychotic medication and mood stabilizers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-511
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • child sexual abuse
  • childhood abuse
  • childhood trauma
  • complex trauma
  • psychopharmacology
  • schizophrenia
  • severe mental illness
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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