The reliability and validity of the revised Green et al. paranoid thoughts scale in individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis

Trevor F. Williams*, Elaine F. Walker, Gregory P. Strauss, Scott W. Woods, Albert R. Powers, Philip R. Corlett, Jason Schiffman, James A. Waltz, James M. Gold, Steven M. Silverstein, Lauren M. Ellman, Richard E. Zinbarg, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Paranoia is a common and impairing psychosis symptom, which exists along a severity continuum that extends into the general population. Individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR) frequently experience paranoia and this may elevate their risk for developing full psychosis. Nonetheless, limited work has examined the efficient measurement of paranoia in CHR individuals. The present study aimed to validate an often-used self-report measure, the revised green paranoid thoughts scale (RGPTS), in this critical population. Method: Participants were CHR individuals (n = 103), mixed clinical controls (n = 80), and healthy controls (n = 71) who completed self-report and interview measures. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), psychometric indices, group differences, and relations to external measures were used to evaluate the reliability and validity of the RGPTS. Results: CFA replicated a two-factor structure for the RGPTS and the associated reference and persecution scales were reliable. CHR individuals scored significantly higher on both reference and persecution, relative to both healthy (ds = 1.03, 0.86) and clinical controls (ds = 0.64, 0.73). In CHR participants, correlations between reference and persecution and external measures were smaller than expected, though showed evidence of discriminant validity (e.g., interviewer-rated paranoia, r = 0.24). When examined in the full sample, correlation magnitude was larger and follow-up analyses indicated that reference related most specifically to paranoia (β = 0.32), whereas persecution uniquely related to poor social functioning (β = −0.29). Conclusion: These results demonstrate the reliability and validity of the RGPTS, though its scales related more weakly to severity in CHR individuals. The RGPTS may be useful in future work aiming to develop symptom-specific models of emerging paranoia in CHR individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-633
Number of pages11
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • clinical high risk
  • construct validity
  • paranoia
  • psychometric
  • psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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