“I one-hundred thousand percent blame it on QAnon”: The impact of QAnon belief on interpersonal relationships

Journal article


Mastroni, L. and Mooney, R. 2024. “I one-hundred thousand percent blame it on QAnon”: The impact of QAnon belief on interpersonal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075241246124
AuthorsMastroni, L. and Mooney, R.
Abstract

Conspiracy beliefs have been found to have negative real-world consequences that can impact interpersonal relationships; however, this remains an under-researched area. With the current popularity of conspiracy movements such as QAnon, more research into these phenomena is necessary. The present research therefore aimed to explore the impact of QAnon belief on interpersonal relationships. Fifteen participants aged 21–54 (M = 41) with a QAnon-affiliated loved one were interviewed about how QAnon has changed their relationship. Using thematic analysis, four main themes were identified: Malignant Q, Distance, Qonflict, and Attempts at Healing. Participants characterized QAnon as a malignant force in their relationships and communicated with their loved ones less as a result. Although QAnon was a source of conflict and tension for all participants, they were motivated to understand their loved ones. Most participants who still had relationships with their loved ones were motivated to heal or maintain their relationships, while those who no longer did had previously tried many different strategies to save their relationships. These findings provide greater insight into how QAnon can impact relationships, offering fruitful directions for future research examining how individuals can heal from QAnon-afflicted relationships.

Keywordsconspiracy beliefs; conspiracy theories; political polarization; QAnon; radicalization; relationships; relationship maintenance; relationship quality
Year2024
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
PublisherSage
ISSN 1460-3608
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075241246124
Web address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02654075241246124
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Apr 2024
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Apr 2024
Supplemental file
License
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/q57vx/-i-one-hundred-thousand-percent-blame-it-on-qanon-the-impact-of-qanon-belief-on-interpersonal-relationships

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