Paranoia and self-concepts in psychosis: A systematic review of the literature.

Bridget Tiernan, Rebecca Tracey, Ciaran Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the present study was to review systematically, research exploring the relationship between self-concepts and paranoia in psychosis. A literature search was performed by two independent raters in relevant databases (MedLine, PsychInfo and Web of Science) and articles meeting the inclusion criteria were cross-referenced. Following scrutiny according to inclusion criteria, 18 studies were selected for review. A narrative synthesis of findings, in which methodological variability is discussed, is presented relative to three key areas: the nature of the relationship between paranoia and self-concepts; the association between paranoia and discrepancies in self-concepts; the nature of the relationship between paranoia and self-concepts when other, dimensional aspects of these constructs are taken into account. The systematic literature review indicated relatively consistent findings, that paranoia is associated with more negative self-concepts when measured cross-sectionally. Results are somewhat more mixed in regards to research on paranoia and self-concept discrepancies. Studies investigating dimensional aspects of self-concepts and paranoia yield findings of particular interest, especially in regards to the association indicated between instability of self-concepts and paranoia. Limitations in research and of the present systematic review are discussed. Clinical and theoretical implications of findings are outlined and possible directions for future research are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
Early online date17 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2014

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