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62. Stability in Paranoia Across Time and the Effect on Social Functioning
Paranoid ideation spans clinical diagnoses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, and is associated with significant impairments in social functioning. The current study seeks to examine stability in the presence of paranoia across time, its relationship with social impairment, and whether the stability of paranoid ideation significantly contributes to variance in social functioning above and beyond the effects of current paranoia severity levels. Using a longitudinal design, we followed 45 clinically diagnosed participants experiencing paranoia for up to 11 months, assessed both the presence and severity of paranoia each month, and gathered social functioning data during a lab visit. Results indicate that approximately two-thirds of the sample had at least one significant change in paranoid status (i.e., paranoid vs. not paranoid) across the 11-months. When examining the average level of social functioning between paranoia variability groups (i.e., no change, one change, and two changes in paranoia), those with more paranoia variability had significantly higher scores in social functioning, F(2,42)=4.22, p=.021. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that current paranoia severity accounted for 18.7% of the variance in social functioning such that those with higher paranoia scores tended to have poorer social functioning (p=.002). Adding paranoia stability to the model explained an additional 6% of the variance in social functioning (R² change=.062, p=.066), such that those with higher paranoia variability tended to have better social functioning, and the overall model remained significant (adjusted R²=.233, p=.001). Results suggest that both the severity and stability of paranoid ideation over time have important impacts on functional outcomes.