The aim of this Editorial is to describe the association between child sexual abuse and psychosis, and to consider potential mechanisms for the association. The association is strongly supported by the literature. Evidence from a variety of sources is triangulated in order to create a plausible model of the link, which can then be used to direct future research. The mechanisms are certainly complex, and there is evidence of interacting contributions at genetic, neurophysiological, behavioural, cognitive and emotional levels. Child sexual abuse is an important antecedent in psychosis, both theoretically and clinically. At the theoretical level, it potentially illuminates mechanisms by which psychotic symptoms are generated, at the clinical level it opens possibilities for improving cognitive-behavioural approaches to treatment.
Declaration of Interest: None.