The environment and schizophrenia

Jim Van Os*, Gunter Kenis, Bart P.F. Rutten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

652 Citations (Scopus)


Psychotic syndromes can be understood as disorders of adaptation to social context. Although heritability is often emphasized, onset is associated with environmental factors such as early life adversity, growing up in an urban environment, minority group position and cannabis use, suggesting that exposure may have an impact on the developing brain during sensitive periods. Therefore heritability, as an index of genetic influence, may be of limited explanatory power unless viewed in the context of interaction with social effects. Longitudinal research is needed to uncover gene-environment interplay that determines how expression of vulnerability in the general population may give rise to more severe psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
Issue number7321
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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