A widely-held theory is that obsessions arise from the misinterpretation of normal intrusive thoughts (e.g., misinterpreting unwanted harm-related thoughts as a sign that one is going to act on them). This leads the person to perform compulsions such as repeated checking. Misinterpretations are said to arise from various types of beliefs (e.g., the belief that thoughts inevitably give rise to actions). In support of this theory, some studies have shown that such beliefs are correlated with obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms. We investigated whether the theory can be extended to conditions in which cultural differences are taken in consideration. Measures of OC beliefs and symptoms were completed by participants in Greece (n = 46) and Italy (n = 348) and, for comparison purposes, the US (n = 73). Beliefs were correlated with symptoms in all three groups. There were significant, albeit modest, cross-cultural effects. In particular, the relation between beliefs and cleaning and checking compulsions tended to be low in Greek participants, compared to Italian and US counterparts. Although the results generally support the cognitive model, some culture-specific modifications may be required, possibly by including variables that moderate or attenuate the correlations between OC symptoms and putatively related beliefs.

A cross-cultural test of the cognitive theory of obsessions and compulsions: A comparison of Greek, Italian, and American individuals - a preliminary study

SANAVIO, EZIO
2006

Abstract

A widely-held theory is that obsessions arise from the misinterpretation of normal intrusive thoughts (e.g., misinterpreting unwanted harm-related thoughts as a sign that one is going to act on them). This leads the person to perform compulsions such as repeated checking. Misinterpretations are said to arise from various types of beliefs (e.g., the belief that thoughts inevitably give rise to actions). In support of this theory, some studies have shown that such beliefs are correlated with obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms. We investigated whether the theory can be extended to conditions in which cultural differences are taken in consideration. Measures of OC beliefs and symptoms were completed by participants in Greece (n = 46) and Italy (n = 348) and, for comparison purposes, the US (n = 73). Beliefs were correlated with symptoms in all three groups. There were significant, albeit modest, cross-cultural effects. In particular, the relation between beliefs and cleaning and checking compulsions tended to be low in Greek participants, compared to Italian and US counterparts. Although the results generally support the cognitive model, some culture-specific modifications may be required, possibly by including variables that moderate or attenuate the correlations between OC symptoms and putatively related beliefs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/1565348
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