The dynamics of attachment insecurity and paranoid thoughts:an experience sampling study

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

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Abstract

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
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Psychiatry Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Psychiatry Research, 246, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.057
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2803
Subjects:
ID Code:
81471
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Sep 2016 13:02
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
05 Apr 2020 04:10