Attachment Orientation, Obsessive Beliefs, and Symptom Severity in Patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Author: Sara Asad

Supervisor: Saima Dawood, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2012-2014

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present study aimed to identify nature of relationship among attachment styles, obsessive belief, and severity of obsession and compulsion symptom dimensions. It was hypothesized that attachment styles (anxiety; avoidance) and obsessive beliefs are likely to predict OCD symptom dimensions and that obsessive beliefs might mediate the association between attachment styles (anxiety; avoidance) and OCD symptom dimensions. Following cross sectional research design, a sample of 90 patients (Men = 43; Women = 47) was taken with the age range of 18-50 years (M = 28.56; SD = 8.48). The assessment measures included two subscales of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptom Checklist (Jabeen & Kausar, 2008), and Screening Questionnaire for Psychiatric Disorders (Kausar & Dawood, 2013), whereas, Urdu version of Revised Adult Attachment Scale (Collins & Reed, 1990) and Obsessive Belief Questionnaire-44 (OCCWG, 2005) were also administered on patients with OCD. Results revealed that attachment anxiety and avoidance did not have significant relationship with OCD symptom dimensions. Moreover, obsessive belief of over importance/need to control thought (ICT) and over responsibility/overestimation of threat (RT belief) had significant positive relationship with sexual and blasphemous obsessions as well as control compulsions. Obsessive beliefs did not mediate the association between attachment styles and OCD symptom dimensions. Blasphemous obsessions were predicted by ICT belief, whereas, control compulsions were predicted by RT belief. Research findings may help cognitive therapists in identification of specific beliefs underlying specific symptom dimensions of OCD subsequently leading to improved treatment outcomes, whereas, keeping in mind that obsessive beliefs as well as maladaptive attachment styles are not important to all kinds of OCD symptom dimensions paving the stage to search for another cause leading to OCD symptom dimensions.

Keywords: OCD Symptom Dimensions, Attachment Orientation, Obsessive Beliefs.

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