The association between metacognitions, the obsessive compulsive symptom dimensions and hoarding: A focus on specificity

Kiara R. Timpano, Jessica L. Rasmussen, Cornelia Exner, Winfried Rief, Sabine Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent year's metacognitive theories - particularly the self-regulatory executive function model proposed by Wells and colleagues - have emerged as a potentially useful perspective from which to extend current cognitive-behavioral models for the mood and anxiety disorders. Metacognitions refer to different beliefs individuals endorse about their thoughts, internal states, and effective coping strategies. Research has linked these attitudes to obsessive compulsive symptoms (OCS), yet it remains unclear whether there may be a differential association with the different OCS dimensions and hoarding. The current study aimed to investigate the specific relationships between the OCS dimensions, hoarding, and metacognitions controlling for general distress. The sample (N=160) was comprised of young adults at a large university in Germany. Although all symptom types were significantly linked with the various metacognitions assessed (all p's<.05), a series of linear regression analyses provided support for more nuanced and particular relationships. The analyses conducted allowed us to examine the specificity of any associations, by factoring out any shared variance between the different OCS dimensions and hoarding. Results revealed that (1) positive beliefs about worry were significantly associated with obsessions and ordering; (2) negative beliefs about uncontrollability were significantly associated with obsessions and checking; (3) cognitive confidence was significantly associated with ordering and hoarding; (4) beliefs about the need to control thoughts were significantly associated with obsessions, ordering, and hoarding; and (5) cognitive self-consciousness was significantly linked with obsessions and ordering. Additional analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between metacognitions, hoarding-specific beliefs, and hoarding symptoms. Results are discussed from the perspective of current theoretical models of OCD and hoarding and future directions are also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Hoarding
  • Metacognitions
  • Obsessive compulsive symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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