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Pathways to inflated responsibility beliefs in adolescent obsessive-compulsive disorder: a preliminary investigation

By P. J. P. Lawrence and Tim I. Williams


Background: An inflated sense of responsibility is characteristic of obsessive-compulsive\ud disorder (OCD). No previous studies have investigated its origins. Five potential pathways to\ud inflated responsibility beliefs have been proposed; these are tested in this study. Method: A\ud novel measure, the Origins Questionnaire for Adolescents (OQA), was developed to assess\ud experiences on these five pathways. Reliability of the OQA was investigated. The experiences\ud on the five pathways to inflated responsibility beliefs of sixteen adolescents with a history of\ud OCD were compared to sixteen adolescents with no history of OCD. Parents also reported on\ud adolescents’ experiences on the five pathways. Results: Inter-rater reliability was high. The\ud internal consistency of the subscales were only partly satisfactory. The groups differed on one\ud pathway; the clinical group reported a higher sense of responsibility for significant incidents with\ud a negative outcome prior to onset of OCD. Conclusions: An inflated sense of responsibility, in\ud combination with the occurrence of specific incidents, might act as a vulnerability factor for\ud development of OCD. Future research should consider how to measure the subtle effects of\ud experiences of responsibility over the course of development

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2011
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