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The relationship between disgust sensitivity, anxiety and obsessions

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Abstract

Three hundred participants, including volunteers from an obsessional support group, filled in questionnaires relating to disgust sensitivity, health anxiety, anxiety, fear of death, fear of contamination and obsessionality as part of an investigation into the involvement of disgust sensitivity in types of obsessions. Overall, the data supported the hypothesis that a relationship does exist between disgust sensitivity and the targeted variables. A significant predictive relationship was found between disgust sensitivity and total scores on the obsessive compulsive inventory (OCI; Psychological Assessment 10 (1998) 206) for both frequency and distress of symptomatology. Disgust sensitivity scores were significantly related to health anxiety scores and general anxiety scores and to all the obsessional subscales, with the exception of hoarding. Additionally, multiple regression analyses revealed that disgust sensitivity may be more specifically related to washing compulsions: frequency of washing behaviour was best predicted by disgust sensitivity scores. Washing distress scores were best predicted by health anxiety scores, though disgust sensitivity entered in the second model. It is suggested that further research on the relationship between disgust sensitivity and obsessionality could be helpful in refining the theoretical understanding of obsessions.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Thorpe SJ, Patel SP, Simonds LM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Behaviour Research and Therapy

Year: 2003

Volume: 41

Issue: 12

Pages: 1397-1409

ISSN (print): 0005-7967

ISSN (electronic): 1873-622X

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7967(03)00058-5

DOI: 10.1016/S0005-7967(03)00058-5


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