Social network characteristics of Black African and Caribbean people with psychosis in the UK

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Poorer social networks predict more coercive pathways to care and other adverse outcomes in people with psychosis. People from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds have more negative experiences within UK mental health care systems and family relationships often breakdown. This study aimed to examine the social network characteristics of Black African and Caribbean people experiencing psychosis and associations between network characteristics and severity of psychosis, negative symptoms, and general psychopathology. Fifty-one participants completed social network mapping interviews (a gold standard approach to assessing social network composition) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. This is the first study to explicitly measure social network size amongst Black people with psychosis living within the UK and results showed that participants’ social network size (mean= 12) was comparable to that of other psychosis samples. Networks were of moderate density and comprised disproportionately more relatives than other relationship types. Poor network quality was related to more severe psychosis symptoms suggesting that social network quality may be an important factor in influencing the severity of psychosis. Findings highlight the need for community-based interventions and family therapies to mobilise sources of social support for Black people with psychosis within the UK. Psychosis
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2023


  • Psychosis
  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Social Networks
  • Social Network Analysis


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