Self-Schemas and Self-Esteem Discrepancies in Subclinical Paranoia: The Essential Role of Depressive Symptoms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Thomas R. Kwapil, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Self-concepts are being intensively investigated in relation to paranoia, butresearch has shown some contradictory findings. Studying subclinical phenomena in a nonclinical population should allow for a clearer understanding given that clinical confoundingfactors are avoided. We explored self-esteem, self-schemas, and implicit/explicit self-esteemdiscrepancies in three non-clinical groups with different psychopathological traits and a controlgroup.Methods: Participants with elevated trait-paranoia (n = 41), depressive symptoms (n = 34), acombination of both traits (n = 32), and a control group (n = 71) were assessed on implicit andexplicit self-esteem, self-schemas, depression, and paranoia. A dimensional approach with thetotal sample (n = 208) was also used to complement the information provided by the groupapproach.Results: All groups presented similar and positive levels of implicit self-esteem. Trait-paranoiaparticipants had similar levels of explicit self-esteem and self-schemas compared with the controlgroup. However, the group with a combination of trait-paranoia and depressive symptomsshowed the lowest levels of positive self-schemas and self-esteem. Furthermore, this group andthe control group displayed implicit/explicit self-esteem discrepancies, although in oppositedirections and with different implications. The dimensional approach revealed associations oftrait-paranoia and depressive symptoms with poor explicit self-esteem and self-schemas but notwith implicit self-esteem.Conclusions: Trait-paranoia participants showed different self-representations depending onwhether depressive symptoms were present or not. The interaction between subclinical neuroticand psychotic traits entailed a detrimental self-representation that might increase the risk forpsychopathology.

Additional Information

Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12
Language: English
Date: 2021
paranoia, self-esteem, self-schemas, depressive symptoms, self-esteem , discrepancies, implicit self-esteem

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