Self-Based Concepts and Obsessive-Compulsive Phenomena

Claire Ahern, Michael Kyrios, Richard Moulding

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background/Aims: Using a cognitive framework, this paper examined self-perceptions as a vulnerability to phenomena in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Specifically, Guidano and Liotti's model of self-ambivalence (from 1983) and the notion of self-worth contingent upon moral standards were investigated as possible mechanisms to explain how individuals come to notice their unwanted intrusions. Method: Using an analogue framework, participants were first-year undergraduate psychology students (95 females, mean age = 22.49 years, SD = 7.96, and 25 males, mean age = 21.64 years, SD = 7.26) who were administered a battery of self-report questionnaires. Results: Results indicated that self-ambivalence moderated the relationship between high moral standards and obsessive-compulsive (OC) phenomena; individuals who had high moral standards and high self-ambivalence showed increased OC vulnerability. Conclusions: The findings suggest that ambivalence about moral self-worth may constitute a particular vulnerability to OC symptoms. Directions for future research are discussed and implications of the findings explored.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-292
    Number of pages6
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2015


    • Beliefs
    • Moral self-worth
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Self-ambivalence
    • Self-concept


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