Self-Schemas and Self-Esteem Discrepancies in Subclinical Paranoia: The Essential Role of Depressive Symptoms

Manel Monsonet, Sergi Ballespí, Tamara Sheinbaum, Carmen Valiente, Regina Espinosa, Thomas Richard Kwapil, Neus Barrantes-Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background : Self-concepts are being intensively investigated in relation to paranoia, but research has shown some contradictory findings. Studying subclinical phenomena in a non-clinical population should allow for a clearer understanding given that clinical confounding factors are avoided. We explored self-esteem, self-schemas, and implicit/explicit self-esteem discrepancies in three non-clinical groups with different psychopathological traits and a control group. Methods: Participants with elevated trait-paranoia (n = 41), depressive symptoms (n = 34), a combination of both traits (n = 32), and a control group (n = 71) were assessed on implicit and explicit self-esteem, self-schemas, depression, and paranoia. A dimensional approach with the total sample (n = 208) was also used to complement the information provided by the group approach. Results: All groups presented similar and positive levels of implicit self-esteem. Trait-paranoia participants had similar levels of explicit self-esteem and self-schemas compared with the control group. However, the group with a combination of trait-paranoia and depressive symptoms showed the lowest levels of positive self-schemas and self-esteem. Furthermore, this group and the control group displayed implicit/explicit self-esteem discrepancies, although in opposite directions and with different implications. The dimensional approach revealed associations of trait-paranoia and depressive symptoms with poor explicit self-esteem and self-schemas but not with implicit self-esteem. Conclusions: Trait-paranoia participants showed different self-representations depending on whether depressive symptoms were present or not. The interaction between subclinical neurotic and psychotic traits entailed a detrimental self-representation that might increase the risk for psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number623755
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021


  • depressive symptoms
  • implicit self-esteem
  • paranoia
  • self-esteem
  • self-esteem discrepancies
  • self-schemas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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