Childhood trauma has been linked to schizophrenia, but underlying biological mechanisms remain elusive. This study explored the potential role of plasma oxytocin as a mediator in the relationship between childhood trauma and the psychopathology of schizophrenia. 160 patients with schizophrenia and 80 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were assessed for childhood trauma experiences using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and structured interviews. Psychopathology was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and plasma oxytocin levels were measured. Results showed that patients with schizophrenia had lower oxytocin levels and higher childhood trauma scores than healthy controls. There was a significant correlation between childhood trauma scores and psychopathology, with plasma oxytocin levels being inversely associated with psychopathology, except for positive symptoms. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that both childhood trauma scores and plasma oxytocin levels significantly predicted psychopathology. Plasma oxytocin levels partially mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and schizophrenia psychopathology. This study underscores the potential role of oxytocin in bridging the gap between childhood trauma and schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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