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An Investigation into the Relationships between Paranoia, Self-esteem and the Menstrual Cycle

Hall, Rosalind (2011) An Investigation into the Relationships between Paranoia, Self-esteem and the Menstrual Cycle. DClinPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Abstract There is some evidence that psychotic symptoms are exacerbated in the days before and during menstruation. Paranoia is frequently reported in psychosis, and is a common experience for non-clinical populations. A review of the literature regarding paranoia and the menstrual cycle is presented, finding evidence that paranoid experiences increase around menstruation for women diagnosed with schizophrenia, episodic psychosis or premenstrual syndrome. This literature is limited in quality and quantity, and predominantly psychiatric. Some general psychological theories of paranoia have investigated the role of self-esteem, with inconsistent findings. The evidence regarding menstruation-related fluctuations in self-esteem is also contradictory. Therefore, the research report aimed to extend the literature by investigating whether menstrual cycle phase was associated with fluctuations in feelings of persecution and self-esteem in a non-clinical population. Further, these variables were considered within the psychological theory that self-esteem would be lower if perceived persecution was felt to be deserved. The results showed that in the three days before and after menses onset persecution and negative self-esteem was higher compared to mid-cycle, while positive self-esteem was lower. At both phases, increased persecution was related to increased negative self-esteem and decreased positive self-esteem. Deservedness intensified the relationship that persecution had with negative but not positive self-esteem. These findings could inform treatment approaches for women who experience menstruation-related difficulties and also those vulnerable to paranoid thinking styles.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Rosalind Hall
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2011 14:05
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1702

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