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Paranoid Beliefs in Response to Past Victimization

Schizophr Res; ePub 2018 Mar 8; Jun, Nam, et al

Findings from a recent study are consistent with cognitive theories of paranoia in which paranoid beliefs may be a severe, but normative, reaction to past victimization exposures in some cases. This study aimed to address whether the experiences of past victimization contribute to the link between paranoid beliefs and the anticipation of threat or victimization, with a particular focus on exposure to police violence. Data were collected through the Survey of Police-Public Encounters (n=1,615), a cross-sectional, general population survey study conducted in 4 Eastern US cities. Researchers found:

  • Paranoid beliefs were positively associated with police victimization expectations (β=0.19), but these associations were statistically better explained by past exposures to similar victimization such that paranoia was no longer associated with anticipated victimization in adjusted models (β=0.02).
  • To assess for the specificity of past exposures to victimization, adjusting for past exposure to intimate partner violence (as a control condition) did not eliminate the association between paranoia and expected police victimization.
Citation:

Jun H-J, Nam B, Fedina L, et al. Paranoid beliefs and realistic expectations of victimization: Data from the survey of police-public encounters. [Published online ahead of print March 8, 2018]. Schizophr Res. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2018.02.046.

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