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Robust epidemiological evidence of risk and protective factors for psychosis is essential to inform preventive interventions. Previous evidence syntheses have classified these risk and protective factors according to their strength of association with psychosis. In this critical review we appraise the distinct and overlapping mechanisms of 25 key environmental risk factors for psychosis, and link these to mechanistic pathways that may contribute to neurochemical alterations hypothesised to underlie psychotic symptoms. We then discuss the implications of our findings for future research, specifically considering interactions between factors, exploring universal and subgroup-specific factors, improving understanding of temporality and risk dynamics, standardising operationalisation and measurement of risk and protective factors, and developing preventive interventions targeting risk and protective factors.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Biobehav Rev

Publication Date





Dopamine, Glutamate, Neurobiology, Neurodevelopment, Prevention, Psychosis, Risk factors