n a preliminary investigation of the link between self-esteem and obsessional problems, patients with OCD were compared with people suffering from other anxiety disorders and non-anxious controls. A questionnaire was devised which allowed the reliable coding of open ended responses focussed on issues surrounding self-worth; standardized measures of self-esteem and clinical symptomatology were also administered. Results indicated that both clinical groups differed significantly from non-clinical controls on generalized self-esteem assessments. There was some evidence of OCD specific effects; obsessionals were more likely than anxious controls to link their self-worth to other people and their relationships. They also regarded the possibility of causing harm as likely to result in other people making extreme negative and critical judgements of them; the other groups expected the responses of others towards them to be more lenient. The implications for future research and for treatment of OCD are discussed.