A large literature has provided evidence of the ‘social cure’: a positive relationship between group identification (a sense of group belonging) and mental wellbeing, commonly measured in terms of levels of depression, anxiety, or stress. However, non-clinical populations may experience other symptoms of mental distress, including paranoia. We hypothesised that since group identification promotes satisfying and supportive relationships (something paranoid individuals appear to lack), there should be a negative relationship between family identification and paranoid ideation. We confirmed this in a cross-sectional study with Cypriot students (N = 108) and in a two-wave longitudinal study with Spanish students (N = 206). The second study also revealed that family identification predicts paranoia over time, but not vice versa. These studies are the first to confirm that family identification is a negative predictor of paranoid ideation, and highlight the need to further explore the effects of group identification on psychotic-like symptoms.
- Social identity
- anomalous experiences
- psychotic symptoms
Sani, F., Wakefield, J., Herrera, M., & Zeybek, A. (2017). On the Association between Greater Family Identification and Lower Paranoid Ideation among Non-Clinical Individuals: Evidence From Cypriot and Spanish Students. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36(5), 396-418. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2017.36.5.396