Responsibility attitudes and interpretations are characteristic of obsessive compulsive disorder

Paul M Salkovskis, A Wroe, A Gledhill, N Morrison, E Forrester, C Richards, M Reynolds, S Thorpe

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328 Citations (SciVal)


The cognitive-behavioral theory of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) proposes that a key factor influencing obsessional behavior is the way in which the intrusive cognitions are interpreted. The present paper reports an investigation of links between clinical symptoms (of anxiety, depression, and obsessionality) and responsibility beliefs. These beliefs include not only measures of general responsibility attitudes (assumptions) but also more specific responsibility appraisals consequent on intrusive cognitions. The characteristics of two new questionnaires specifically designed to measure these beliefs were assessed in 83 patients suffering from OCD, in 48 patients suffering from other anxiety disorders, and in 218 non-clinical controls. The scales measuring negative beliefs about responsibility were found to have good reliability and internal consistency. Comparisons between criterion groups indicate considerable specificity for both assumptions and appraisals with respect to OCD. There was also good evidence of specificity in the association between responsibility cognitions and obsessional symptoms across groups, and that this association was not a consequence of links with anxiety or depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-372
Number of pages26
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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