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Title: Self-esteem and self-concept in individuals with 'poor me' and 'bad me' persecutory beliefs
Author: Gray, Imara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 7155
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2009
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Background: Persecutory delusions are a common psychiatric symptom, affecting between 50 and 90% of those with psychosis. They are associated with high levels of distress, social isolation and hospitalisation. Psychological theories of persecutory delusions have been developed in order to inform the care of this distressing symptom. Objectives: The current thesis has two aims. The literature review aims to evaluate two current psychological models of persecutory delusions, namely Daniel Freeman's model, which suggests that anxiety plays a direct causal role in persecutory beliefs, and Richard Bentall's model, which suggests that persecutory delusions are a defence against low self-esteem and depression. The research project aimed to further investigate Richard Bentall's model by looking at patterns of self-esteem in two different types of persecutory delusion: 'poor me' delusions, in which the individual feels that their persecution is not deserved; and 'bad me' delusions, in which the individual feels that their persecution is deserved. Methods: The literature review comprises a comprehensive review of the literature looking at anxiety, self-esteem and depression in those with persecutory delusions. The research project used a combination of self-report questionnaires and a computer task to measure self-esteem in those with persecutory delusions. Findings: The literature review outlines high levels of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem in those with persecutory delusions. Little evidence is found to support Freeman's model of persecutory delusions. Some initial evidence however is found in support of a revised version of Bentall's model. The research project meanwhile found patterns of self-esteem in 'poor me' and 'bad me' delusions that were consistent with Bentall's revised model. Conclusions: The current thesis outlines support for Bentall's revised model of persecutory delusions. The thesis also outlines the need for further research in a number of areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available