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The Beliefs in Trichotillomania Scale (BiTS): factor analyses and preliminary validation

journal contribution
posted on 2019-11-01, 00:00 authored by Imogen C Rehm, Maja Nedeljkovic, Richard MouldingRichard Moulding, Anna ThomasAnna Thomas
OBJECTIVES: The role of cognitions and beliefs in trichotillomania (TTM; hair pulling disorder) has been the subject of only limited investigation. This study aimed to develop and validate the Beliefs in TTM Scale (BiTS). METHODS: A pool of 50 items based upon themes identified in previous research was administered online to 841 participants with and without self-reported problematic, non-cosmetic hair pulling behaviours. RESULTS: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses conducted in randomly split-halves of the sample supported retention of 14 items comprising three factors: negative self-beliefs, low coping efficacy, and perfectionism. CONCLUSIONS: The BiTS demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties and all three subscales significantly correlated with greater hair pulling severity. Negative self-beliefs predicted hair pulling severity over and above mood symptoms, suggesting the importance of addressing self-construals in psychological treatments for TTM. Validation in a clinician diagnosed sample is required. PRACTITIONER POINTS: Research supports cognitive therapies for treating trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), although studies investigating the nature and role of cognitions and beliefs in this disorder have been lacking. This study developed and validated a self-report measure of three styles of beliefs most relevant to trichotillomania: negative self-beliefs, low coping efficacy, and perfectionism. Negative self-beliefs predicted the severity of trichotillomania symptoms over and above depression and anxiety, suggesting such cognitions may not necessarily be due to comorbidities. Future research should validate the new measure in a clinician diagnosed sample, and therapies for trichotillomania may be enhanced by targeting shame specifically.



British journal of clinical psychology






384 - 405




Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, The British Psychological Society