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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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131. The differential relationship between specific types of delusional ideation and sense of purpose

People attribute meaning to their experiences that may contribute to the development of consensual shared beliefs (e.g., religion) or may form beliefs that deviate from reality (e.g. delusions). While delusional beliefs have historically been viewed as innately harmful, there is some evidence that certain false beliefs may give the individual a sense of specialness or exalted purpose even while creating additional dysfunction. However, little is known about what types of delusional ideation are associated with increased versus decreased ‘purpose’ which may have implications for understanding idiosyncratic symptom presentation. The current study sought to examine the relationship between delusional ideation (Peters et al., Delusions Inventory) and ‘sense of purpose’ (SOP) while also considering mood symptoms (depression/anxiety/stress) and normative beliefs (religion/spirituality) in a sample of undergraduate students (n=393). Latent class analysis was used to determine SOP groupings across participants. Preliminary results suggest a four class model. Two classes endorsed low beliefs/symptomology; one did not endorse SOP and other contained moderate SOP and high religiosity. The remaining classes suggest that high SOP, religiosity/spirituality, and grandiose ideation may be protective for individuals, while low SOP may indicate elevated mood symptomology. Further results and implications will be discussed.

Sherry Pujji
Rowan University

Manny Alvarez
Rowan University

Eve Sledjeski
Rowan University

Tom Dinzeo
Rowan University


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