Humiliation and state anxiety as predictors of attenuated psychosis in a community sample

Wei Lin Toh*, Stuart J. Lee, Tim Rancie, Phaybian Penita, Peter Moseley, Susan L. Rossell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing literature suggests that humiliation experiences, coupled with a negative family context, significantly predicts persecutory ideation in non-clinical participants. Whether this may also be linked to attenuated psychotic experiences is unknown. The current study aimed to assess whether familial adversity and humiliation may be related to hallucination-like experiences (HLEs) and other psychotic symptoms, and if state anxiety significantly contributed to these relationships. This cross-sectional study recruited a community sample of 93 adults (38% male; mean age = 27.3 years, standard deviation = 10.8 years), who completed measures of maladaptive familial environments, past and anticipated humiliation experiences, state anxiety and attenuated psychotic symptoms. Correlations and hierarchical regressions tested for direct and indirect relationships amongst study variables. A maladaptive family context, and humiliation (past and anticipated) were positively correlated with HLEs, and facets of attenuated psychotic symptoms. Anxiety uniquely predicted audio-visual and multisensory HLEs. Past humiliation and anxiety jointly predicted cognitive-perceptual disturbance and disorganisation, whereas fear of humiliation and anxiety jointly predicted interpersonal difficulty. Elevated state anxiety, coupled with humiliation, may increase attenuated psychotic symptoms in adulthood. Future research is needed to ascertain if these relationships hold true in clinical cohorts to examine the clinical significance of these data.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date28 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2023

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