Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah Murnen

Abstract

Individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) show elevated levels of anger. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mediating role of perfectionism and comorbid psychological distress in the association of obsessive-compulsive symptoms and elevated anger. This study was the first to independently explore perfectionism as a mediator of anger in obsessive-compulsive beliefs. Participants (N = 247) completed an online questionnaire via Mechanical Turk that measured obsessive-compulsive severity, anger, distress, perfectionism, and cognitive biases (intolerance of uncertainty, thought-action fusion, and inflated responsibility). I used path analysis to assess whether distress and/or perfectionism mediate the association between cognitive biases and anger, as well as correlational and multiple regression analyses to interpret the path models. Results indicate that distress is a key mediator of elevated anger in obsessive-compulsive beliefs. Although perfectionism is associated with cognitive biases and obsessive-compulsive severity, it minimally, if at all, mediates the association with elevated anger. Distress and perfectionism are not the only potential mediators of elevated anger in OCD, as the association between intolerance of uncertainty and anger cannot be attributed to distress alone. I discuss the results relative to whether anger arises from obsessive-compulsive beliefs, per se, or from secondary symptoms.

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