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Abstract

Guy Doron

This thesis aimed to identify and investigate several cognitive-affective structures, linked with particular attachment experiences that have been associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and obsessive compulsive (OC) phenomena (Doron & Kyrios, 2005). Current cognitive models of OCD have focused on a range of specific beliefs (e.g., inflated personal responsibility, intolerance for uncertainty and importance/control of thoughts) and coping strategies involved in the development, maintenance and exacerbation of OC symptoms. Cognitive theories have also implied the importance of self and world perceptions (e.g., ambivalent sense of self, overestimation of threat, sociotropy, looming vulnerability) on the development and maintenance of OC phenomena, although these cognitive domains have not always been emphasized in recent research. In this thesis, four studies using clinical (OCD and other anxiety disorders) and non-clinical (students and community) cohorts were undertaken. Results generally supported the association between adult attachment representations, sensitive self structures (i.e., feelings of incompetence in specific valued self domains), world view (e.g., a just world) and OCD symptoms. Some evidence for the specificity of these relationships to OCD was also found. Implications of these findings for theory and treatment of OCD are discussed.

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