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Title: Interpersonal beliefs and distress in persecutory delusions
Author: Paget, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 598X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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Empirical studies into aspects of belief content that are associated with distress in persecutory delusions have been inconsistent. Typically these studies have focused on the anticipation of threat consistent with the conceptualisation of persecutory delusions as a form of threat belief. Research in the voices literature has focused on the relationship the voice-hearer establishes with their voice. In doing so, it has been demonstrated that specific aspects of interpersonal belief content are associated with distress. The study had two main aims: (1) to explore how people with persecutory delusions perceived the self, others and persecutors across specific dimensions of interpersonal belief, and (2) whether the difference self other and persecutor on dimensions of interpersonal beliefs was associated with emotional and delusional distress. A cross-sectional investigation of 29 individuals currently experiencing persecutory delusions was conducted. A repertory grid methodology was used to explore aspects of belief content between self, other and persecutor, and differences were correlated with emotional and delusional distress measures. The results highlighted a role for malevolence as a key belief dimension in the way people with persecutory delusions view persecutors and others. With regard to distress, there was a key role for how others were viewed compared to the persecutor. When participants saw others and persecutors to be similar in terms of malevolence and omnipotence, this was associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety. The appraisals people with persecutory beliefs make concerning others on interpersonal beliefs appear important in distress. Therefore, interventions that focus on improving relationships with others may facilitate the alleviation of distress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available