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The role of feared possible selves in obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: a comparative analysis of a core cognitive self-construct in clinical samples

journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by F Aardema, Richard Moulding, G Melli, A S Radomsky, G Doron, J-S Audet, M Purcell-Lalonde
Increasingly, cognitive-behavioural models have been considering the role of beliefs about the self in the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including sensitive domains of self-concept and feared self-perceptions. This has led to the development of the Fear of Self Questionnaire (FSQ; Aardema et al., ), which has shown strong internal consistency, divergent and convergent validity, and found to be a major predictor of unwanted thoughts and impulses (i.e., repugnant obsessions). The current study aimed to investigate fear of self-perceptions using the FSQ in an OCD sample (n = 144) and related psychological disorders (eating disorders, n = 57; body dysmorphic disorder, n = 33) in comparison to a non-clinical (n = 141) and clinical comparison group (anxiety/depressive disorders, n = 27). Following an exploratory factor analysis of the scale in the OCD sample, the results showed that participants with OCD in general did not score significantly higher on fear of self-perceptions than did the clinical comparison participants. However, consistent with previous findings, fear of self was highly characteristic among OCD patients with unwanted repugnant thoughts and impulses. In addition, fear of self-perceptions were significantly more elevated in those with eating or body dysmorphic disorders relative to the other non-clinical and clinical groups. The construct of a "feared possible self" may be particularly relevant in disorders where negative self-perception is a dominant theme, either involving concerns about one's inner self or concerns related to perceived bodily faults.

History

Journal

Clinical psychology and psychotherapy

Volume

25

Issue

1

Pagination

e19 - e29

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

1063-3995

eISSN

1099-0879

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2017, John Wiley & Sons