Qollateral: The Impact of QAnon on Loved Ones and the Potential for P/CVE Programs to Help


  • Michèle St-Amant The Organization for the Prevention of Violence
  • Michael King The Organization for the Prevention of Violence
  • Laura Stolte The Organization for the Prevention of Violence
  • Marc-André Argentino Concordia University


QAnon, Conspiracy Theories, Family Relationships, Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism


Since 2017, the conspiracy theory known as QAnon has boomed in popularity and spread across national borders. While QAnon is linked to various violent criminal acts, including the January 6th riots on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., there is abundant anecdotal data to suggest QAnon also has destructive relational effects on the loved ones of its adherents. While these Q-believers and their loved ones would benefit from psychosocial support, they either do not seek help or are unable to find the type of support they need. By conducting an original survey of 473 family members and friends of Q-believers, this study adds to a nascent but growing body of research documenting the negative collateral effects of conspiracies on loved ones and their need for professional and psychosocial support. Our findings indicate that younger, immediate family members who live with the Q-person experience the greatest negative impacts from their loved one’s belief in QAnon. While this group expressed the highest level of need and desire to access psychosocial support services, they also reported the most barriers to accessing these services. Among these barriers, many respondents identified a lack of QAnon-informed or -specialized support services. These findings suggest that programs aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) are uniquely positioned to help Q-believers and their loved-ones, as well as to build capacity among health and social service providers to increase the support available to this population.


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