An exploration of strength use and its relationship with life satisfaction, positive self-beliefs and paranoid ideation

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Kara McTiernan
Fiona Gullon-Scott
Robert Dudley


Paranoid ideation is often preceded by negative interactions impacting on peoples’ sense of self and wellbeing. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom is promoting wellbeing but there is a paucity of research. The authentic happiness theory and a strength intervention were drawn upon in a preliminary investigation of the relationships between strength-use, wellbeing and paranoia.  In a cross-sectional study, students (N=531) completed measures of strength-use, wellbeing, self-beliefs and paranoia. Pearson’s correlations, hierarchical multiple regression analysis, moderation analysis and mediation analysis were used to analyse the data. Strength-use was positively associated with life satisfaction and positive self-beliefs. There was a negative correlation between life satisfaction and paranoia, and higher positive self-beliefs were associated with lower paranoia. Paranoid ideation significantly predicted lower life satisfaction after controlling other symptoms of psychosis. Strength-use moderated the relationship between paranoia and life satisfaction. As hypothesised life satisfaction and positive self-beliefs mediated the relationship between strength-use and paranoia. The findings support delivering strength-use interventions to harness clients’ wellbeing.

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