Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) A Systematic Review of the Modifications Required to Enhance the Efficacy of CBT in Reducing Mental Health Symptoms in Young People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders ;2) Evaluation of a Tailored Training Program to Improve the Assessment and Treatment of Trauma in an Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Service; 3) A preliminary investigation of attachment style, inflated responsibility and excessive reassurance-seeking behaviours in adolescents with OCD.

  • Sasha Walters

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Cognitive models of OCD identify inflated responsibility as a vulnerability and maintenance factor which is associated with compulsive behaviours including excessive reassurance seeking (ERS; Rachman, 2002; Salkovskis, 1985). An emerging body of evidence has also implicated attachment styles in OCD symptom severity as well as the core cognitive components that maintain it (Doron, Moulding, Kyrios, Nedeljkovic, &Mikulincer, 2009; Haciomeroglu & Karanci , 2014). However, these models have largely been evaluated with adult samples and, with regards to attachment and ERS specifically, it is unclear how this translates to understanding clinically significant OCD presentations in young people. The aim of the current study was to test for the prevalence and specificity of a disorganised attachment representations, inflated responsibility and ERS in a sample of adolescents with OCD (n=19) compared with adolescents with other anxiety disorders(n=19) and healthy controls (n=19). Findings indicate that each of the variables are elevated among the clinical groups but there was little evidence of specificity between adolescents with OCD and other anxiety problems in terms of attachment, inflated responsibility or ERS. The outcomes are discussed in relation to findings from the adult literature and directions for future research and clinical practice are considered
Date of Award19 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor)


  • OCD
  • Psychosis
  • ASD
  • Young people
  • Attachment
  • trauma

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