The dynamics of attachment insecurity and paranoid thoughts : An experience sampling stud

Sitko, Katarzyna and Varese, Filippo and Sellwood, William and Hammond, Amy and Bentall, Richard (2016) The dynamics of attachment insecurity and paranoid thoughts : An experience sampling stud. Psychiatry Research, 246. pp. 32-38. ISSN 0165-1781

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It has been proposed that insecure attachment can have adverse effects on the course of psychosis once symptoms have emerged. There is longitudinal evidence that increased insecure attachment is associated with increased severity of psychotic symptoms. The present study examined whether in the flow of daily life attachment insecurity fluctuates, whether elevated stress precedes the occurrence of attachment insecurity, and whether elevated attachment insecurity precedes the occurrence of paranoia. Twenty clinical participants with a psychosis-spectrum diagnosis and twenty controls were studied over six consecutive days using the experience sampling method (ESM). The findings revealed that fluctuations in attachment insecurity were significantly higher in the clinical group, that elevated stress predicted a subsequent increase in attachment insecurity, and that elevated attachment insecurity predicted a subsequent increase in paranoia; this effect was not observed in auditory hallucinations once co-occurring symptoms were controlled for. Finally, although previous ESM studies have shown that low self-esteem precedes the occurrence of paranoia, attachment insecurity continued to predict paranoia even when self-esteem was controlled for. The findings suggest that attachment security may be associated with a lower risk of paranoia, and that psychological interventions should address attachment beliefs and work towards establishing a sense of attachment security.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychiatry Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? psychiatry and mental healthbiological psychiatry ??
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Deposited On:
09 May 2023 15:00
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 23:47