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Title: Social correlates of paranoia, and the effect of belonging-affirmations
Author: Raine, Rosamund
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 1154
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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While depleted social networks are a widespread and troubling problem for those within the clinical paranoia population, contradictory evidence in the non-clinical paranoia population leaves this area in need of further investigation. Additionally, the closely related constructs of loneliness and belonging are consistently associated to mental health; however, research looking at their relationship with paranoia has been notably neglected. Interestingly, paranoia and belonging have been indirectly connected within the non-clinical literature, with self-affirmations reducing paranoia severity, and belonging being proposed as a particularly active ingredient within the affirmation process. The current study firstly aimed to identify whether social networks are depleted for those experiencing paranoia within the non-clinical population, and where in the network any such depletions take place. The second aim was to highlight any associations between paranoia and loneliness and belonging, and to establish whether paranoia had a causal influence on these two constructs. The final aim was to observe whether belonging-affirmations could reduce paranoia, and if, given the proposed relationship between paranoia, loneliness and belonging, this process also resulted in reduced loneliness. A general population sample was recruited and a three-phase study design implemented. Participants firstly completed a cross-sectional phase followed by a paranoia induction experimental phase, and a belonging-affirmation experimental phase. While results did not demonstrate a significant relationship between paranoia and social network size, a significant relationship between increased paranoia and increased loneliness and decreased belonging was observed. However, belonging-affirmations did not significantly reduce either paranoia or loneliness. It was concluded that, while social networks do not appear to be depleted for those experiencing paranoia within the general population, paranoia does appear to be associated with loneliness and belonging, with early indications that paranoia may have a causal influence within these two relationships. Belonging-affirmations were concluded as being ineffective interventions for reducing paranoia and loneliness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available