Psychosis risk rises with social exclusion

Multicultural Crowd (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/mattbuck)Multicultural Crowd (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/mattbuck)

Ethnic minorities who are excluded from society are at a higher risk of suffering from psychosis. This phenomenon is most prevalent in second-generation migrants, according to psychologist Els van der Ven in the thesis for which she will be awarded a PhD by the University of Maastricht on Friday, ANP reports.

"The chronic feeling of being an outsider can eventually have a pathological effect. You can see that in children who are bullied. They withdraw because the world is not a safe place. They are lonely and increasingly suspicious That is the most probable mechanism", Van der Ven writes.

Moroccan youths are a particularly vulnerable group in this phenomenon. The risk of psychosis in this group is five times higher than among Moroccan women. Why exactly this is the case is unclear, but Van der Ven believes it may have something to do with the high social status Moroccan men would have in their home communities.

"While the girls seize opportunities they otherwise would not have had, the boys get to deal with too-high expectations. The lack of success could lead them to feel excluded. Something that is enhanced by lack of parental control, discrimination and not feeling at home in both guest country as home community", the psychologist said.