An Examination of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms and Dimensions Using Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling (PAMS)

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Contemporary cognitive models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) emphasize the importance ofvarious types of dysfunctional beliefs in contributing to OC symptoms, such as beliefs about excessivepersonal responsibility, perfectionism, and intolerance for uncertainty. The present study seeks to fur-ther our understanding of the role of these beliefs by identifying the common profiles of such beliefs,using profile analysis via multidimensional scaling (PAMS). In Study 1, a large student sample (N = 4079)completed the 44-item obsessive beliefs questionnaire. One major profile, control of thoughts and per-fectionism, was extracted. Study 2 examined profiles of the 87-item obsessive beliefs questionnaire inpeople with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n = 398), other anxiety disorders (n = 104), and a sam-ple of undergraduate students (n = 285). Inflated responsibility was a prominent subscale in the profilesof all three groups. Only control over thoughts was a unique subscale in the profile obtained for theOCD group, with this group having lower scores compared to the other groups. The results suggest thatwhile inflated responsibility is a significant subscale in the profile of individuals with OCD, it is not aunique contributor; instead, control over thoughts is unique to OCD. The data, as well as recent researchinvestigating obsessive beliefs, suggest the need to revise the contemporary cognitive model of OCD.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.