The Role of Social Factors in Determining Outcomes in Individuals with Psychosis

  • Parisa Norton Galway

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Association between Quality of Social Support and Symptom Severity in Individuals with Psychosis: A Systematic Review
To systematically review the research exploring the association between quality of social support and symptom severity in individuals with psychosis, a literature search was conducted on three databases (PsychINFO, Web of Science and PubMed). A narrative synthesis of twelve studies that met the inclusion criteria was conducted. Results of the review indicated relatively consistent findings, with greater symptom severity associated with lower quality of social support. The possible mechanisms underlying these findings are explored, including a hypothesis that social support is a protective factor that promotes resilience. The limitations of the review and clinical implications of findings are outlined with possible directions for future research suggested.

Exploring Childhood Trauma and Social Capital as Predictors of Depression in Individuals with Psychosis.
The exploration of depression in psychosis is essential due to the potential impact on the individual. Childhood trauma and social capital, comprised of measures of social support and neighbourhood cohesion, were explored as predictors of depression in individuals with psychosis. Using a cross-sectional design, 52 participants were recruited from mental health services in Northern Ireland. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Neighbourhood Cohesion Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory were administered. Whilst childhood trauma, specifically emotional abuse was predictive of depression in individuals with psychosis, the remaining subscales along with social capital were not associated with depression. These findings suggest a relationship between emotional abuse in childhood and depression in individuals with psychosis and are discussed in relation to attachment theory. Clinical implications, including the need for routine assessment of childhood trauma are highlighted along with limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research.
Date of AwardJul 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorDavid Curran (Supervisor) & Ciaran Shannon (Supervisor)

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