Paranoia within psychosis: the role of childhood trauma, attachment, and emotion recognition ability.

  • Rachel Lavin

Student thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology


The aim of the current thesis was to examine the relationship between trauma, insecure attachment, and emotion recognition, and paranoia in psychosis. There are three separate papers presented; paper one is a systematic review examining the relationship between insecure attachment and paranoia in psychosis, paper two is an empirical study investigating the relationship between trauma and paranoia in psychosis, and examining mediators of this relationship, and paper three is a critical evaluation and reflection of the overall research conducted. A systematic review of the relationship between insecure attachment and paranoia in psychosis is provided in paper one. The trainee carried out a comprehensive search of the literature and identified twelve eligible empirical studies. A quality assessment of articles was completed when assimilating the results to enable critical appraisal. The review outlines the clinical implications and future recommendations for research. Paper two is an empirical study that investigated childhood trauma and paranoia and the potential mediating role of insecure attachment and cognitive biases within this relationship. Sixty individuals with psychosis completed measures assessing childhood trauma, attachment, emotion recognition ability, and paranoia. Mediation analysis found that an anxious attachment mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and paranoia. The results are discussed in relation to theory, and clinical implications and recommendations for future research are considered. A critical evaluation and reflection is provided in paper three. A critical appraisal of the design, implementation, and results of the research carried out is provided with personal reflections on the experience of conducting the research.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKatherine Berry (Supervisor) & Sandra Bucci (Supervisor)

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