International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Influence of Situation-Specific Control Beliefs on Obsessive-Compulsive Phenomena
Virginia Burgdorf, Dr Mairwen Jones

This study investigated whether situation-specific control beliefs would influence obsessive compulsive (OC) related phenomena using a set of hypothetical, potential contamination scenarios. As expected, higher situationspecific desire for control and lower sense of control predicted higher threat appraisals. The interaction between desire for control and sense of control predicted distress. Neither desire for control nor sense of control predicted propensity to act. However, greater distress predicted a greater propensity to act in relation to the contamination scenario. This study confirms the relevance of control beliefs to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and adds to the current research by demonstrating that situation-specific control beliefs contribute to dysfunctional threat beliefs and distress. The results also indicate that distress may mediate the relationship between control beliefs and OC behaviours. It is suggested that individuals with OCD may benefit from cognitive therapy which directly targets problematic control beliefs.

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