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Intro

Guy Doron

In cognitive theories of psychopathology, vulnerability to symptoms is linked with underlying cognitive-affective structures, such as an individual´┐¢s perceptions of self, others and the world (e.g., Beck, 1976; Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980; Young, 1999). Theory and research suggest that these structures develop due to early experiences, particularly those within attachment relationships (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1988; Doron & Kyrios, 2005; Guidano & Liotti, 1983; Janoff-Bulman, 1991; Kyrios, 1998). Attachment processes also impact on the process and outcome of psychotherapy, and have implications for the targets of cognitive therapy (Mikulincer, Shaver, & Pereg, 2003). However, despite evidence of their association to psychopathology, few researchers have investigated the link between attachment representation and cognitive-affective structures such as perceptions of self, others and the world that are associated with OCD (e.g., Bhar & Kyrios, 2000; Guidano & Liotti, 1983; Myhr, Sookman, & Pinard, 2004; Sookman, Pinard, & Beauchemin, 1994).

Recently, Doron and Kyrios (2005; also see chapter 2 of this thesis) proposed that negative representations of self and other stemming from attachment experiences increase the likelihood for the development of particular perceptions of self (i.e., feelings of incompetence in valued domains), others (i.e., increased perceptions of social threat) and of the world (i.e., increased perceptions of threat), thus increasing vulnerability to OC symptoms. The present chapter aimed at investigating the relationship between adult attachment dimensions, self and world view structures and their association with OC symptoms.

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