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Title: The Forms and Functions of Self Attacking and Reassuring Thoughts in Negative Voice Hearing, as Compared to people with Depression and Non-Psychiatric Controls.
Author: Kelly, James
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
Background: Social Mentality Theory has shown that dominant-to-subordinate self attacking thoughts are a key aspect of depression. These thoughts are thought to restrict access to self soothing systems in the brain. People who hear negative voices feel subordinate to them but the role of dominant self attacking has not been explored. Aim: To investigate the role of self attacking in negative voice hearing as compared to people with depression and healthy controls. Subsidiary aim: to explore the relationship between self attacking and factors associated with voice hearing. Hypotheses: It was hypothesised that negative voice hearers would engage in higher levels of self attacking than people with depression and non-psychiatric controls. It was further hypothesised that people with negative voices would engage in lower levels of reassuring thoughts as people with depression and significantly lower than healthy controls. Method: A cross-sectional 3 group design was used, comparing 16 negative voice hearers, 9 people with depression and 19 non-psychiatric controls. A parallel measure of self-attacking for voice hearing was developed. An exploratory study was conducted on relationships between the forms and functions of voice and self attacking and self compassion, beliefs about voices, and appraisals of self in relation to others and to the voice in terms of social power. Results: No significant difference was found between the Negative Voice Group and the, Depression or Healthy Control Group on measures of Self-Attacking or Self Reassuring Thoughts after depression and years of education were taken into account as covariates. Self-Attacking was found to be significantly associated with depression across groups. Exploratory analyses in the Negative Voice group revealed significant positive correlations between the Forms and Functions of Self- and Voice- Attacking with Beliefs About Voices and Distress. Persecutory Voice Attacking was significantly associated with Voice Power. Self-and Voice- Attacking were significantly negatively correlated with Self Reassurance and Self-Compassion. Conclusions: Self attacking thoughts were not found to be significantly higher in people who hear negative voices as compared to people with depression or healthy controls. Self-attacking thoughts were significantly related to depression across groups. Therefore, an alternative hypothesis that self-attacking thoughts is a transdiagnostic process implicated in depression experienced by all groups was considered. The present study was not suitably designed to test the hypothesis that a Social Rank Mentality patterns both self and voice attacks and subsequent depression and distress. Hypotheses generated from the exploratory study were that self attacking may be inversely related to self-reassurance and self-compassion in the voice hearing group. Voice-to-self relating may be significantly more hating and less reassuring than self-to-self relating. Voice-attacking may be more persecutory in perceived intention as compared to self-attacking which seemed more corrective in perceived function. If such findings are borne out by further studies, the clinical implications would be that therapy aimed at increasing a person's self-soothing capacity may be an effective treatment of distress in relation to harsh and critical voices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.492749  DOI: Not available
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