Barcelona snapshots

Prof. Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher Controversias Psiquiatría Barcelona
King’s College London, Reino Unido
Ponencia Factores de riesgo y protección después de la victimización infantil
Fechas 7 Septiembre - 9 Septiembre, 2020
Mesa redonda 5 Psicopatología inducida por la violencia: Victimización y Stress


Dr Helen L. Fisher is a Reader in Developmental Psychopathology and Chartered Research Psychologist based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK. She has a strong interdisciplinary background in psychology, social psychiatry, epidemiology, genetics, and epigenetics. Dr Fisher spent the first part of her career evaluating Early Intervention Services for young people with psychosis and then focused on the role of childhood maltreatment in the development and course of psychotic disorders. Her current multidisciplinary programme of research focuses on the role of social, psychological, biological, and wider environmental factors in the development, course, and prevention of psychosis and depression in children and adolescents. She jointly leads projects exploring epigenetic signatures of exposure to psychosocial stressors in adolescence; biopsychosocial markers of resilience following exposure to childhood maltreatment; the role of air pollution in the development of adolescent mental health problems; and improving detection of adolescents at high risk for depression across 4 continents. She also jointly leads the UKRI Violence, Abuse & Mental Health Network. Additionally, she is passionate about collaborating with artists to find creative ways to engage the public in discussions about psychosis and reduce the stigma associated with these experiences and has recently been involved in 4 theatre productions, a sold-out immersive psychosis exhibition, and a mental health themed audio-tour of the National Gallery in London.


At least a quarter of all children experience some form of victimization – be it physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect from their parents or another adult, bullying by peers or siblings, dating violence, or growing up in a household or community in which violence regularly occurs. These victimization experiences have been associated with the emergence of a wide range of mental (and physical) health problems during adolescence and adulthood. However, there is a reasonable degree of variability in outcomes following early exposure to victimization and a significant proportion of victimized children remain mentally healthy as they enter adulthood. This talk will discuss the evidence for the biological, psychological and social factors which have been proposed to increase the risk of victimized children developing mental health problems and the multi-level factors which have been found to be protective. This research is crucial to inform the development of preventive interventions and ensure they are targeted at the most vulnerable children in order to improve individuals’ quality of life and reduce the global burden of mental health disorders.