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119. Exploring the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychotic-like experiences: Coping style as a mediator
Perceived discrimination has been repeatedly linked to risk for psychosis across the psychosis spectrum, including in individuals experiencing psychotic-like experiences (PLEs, subthreshold psychotic symptoms). However, research related to potential moderators/mediators of the perceived discrimination - PLEs is very limited. This study sought to examine coping style as a possible moderator and/or mediator within the context of individuals experiencing PLEs. Within a sample of 1194 undergraduates, coping style was assessed by using the Brief COPE scale. Perceived discrimination was measured through the Experiences of Discrimination scale, and psychotic-like experiences were determined using the positive scale of the Prodromal Questionnaire. Hayes’ PROCESS macro for SPSS was used to test mediation and moderation. We found that use of maladaptive coping styles (e.g., substance use, denial) significantly mediated the relationship between perceived discrimination and PLEs [CI of effect: .0174 - .1482]. No significant moderating effects of coping were found. These results support previous results linking perceived discrimination to deleterious physical and mental health outcomes and also serves to highlight the possibility of an intervention target (i.e., coping style) that may lessen the impact of experiences of discrimination on individuals prior to the onset of more severe psychotic symptomatology.