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The roles of coalitional threat and safety in paranoia: A network approach

Greenburgh, A; Bell, V; Raihani, N; (2021) The roles of coalitional threat and safety in paranoia: A network approach. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 10.1111/bjc.12342. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Paranoia is known to vary with levels of coalitional threat and safety present in the social environment. However, it remains underexplored whether threat and safety are differentially associated with paranoia, if these relationships vary with the source of threat and safety, and whether such effects hold across the continuum of severity of paranoid thoughts. Methods: We employed a network analysis approach with community analysis on a large dataset (n = 6,337), the UK Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007, to explore these questions. We included one node to capture paranoia typical in the general population, and one pertaining to thought interference common in persecutory delusions in psychosis. Results: Nodes reflecting paranoia in the general population as well as persecution-related concerns in psychosis shared the strongest positive edges with nodes representing threat stemming from close social relationships. Paranoia common in the general population was negatively associated with both safety stemming from the wider social environment, and safety in close relationships, where the former association was strongest. Conclusions: Our results suggest that threat from within one’s immediate social group is more closely linked to paranoid thoughts than is safety from either one’s social group or the wider social environment. Further, our results imply that coalitional threat may be a particularly associated with concerns common in psychosis, whereas paranoid ideation more common in the general population is also associated with reduced coalitional safety. Overall, this network analysis offers a broad view of how paranoia relates to multiple aspects of our coalitional environment and provides some testable predictions for future research in this area. Practitioner points: Individuals with paranoia more typical of delusions may find threat in close social relationships most challenging Variation in paranoia in the general population may be attributed to feeling safe in the wider social environment more than in close social relationships.

Type: Article
Title: The roles of coalitional threat and safety in paranoia: A network approach
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjc.12342
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12342
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138114
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