The Relationship between Self-ambivalence and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms: The Mediating Role of Relevant Beliefs in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran



Introduction: Based on the cognitive model, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is maintained by various belief factors. Despite much support for this hypothesis, little is understood about the role of self-concept in the maintenance or treatment of OCD. Researchers believe that individuals who are ambivalent about their self-worth, use OCD-related beliefs and behaviors to restore self-esteem. The present study investigates the association between self-ambivalence and OCD-related beliefs and symptoms. Also, it is expected that OCD-relevant beliefs mediate the association between self-ambivalence and OCD symptoms.
Method: Non-clinical participants (280) were recruited for this research. Each participant completed the self-reported versions of the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the Self-Ambivalence Scale (Y-BOCS), and the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-44)OBQ-44). The data were analyzed using path analysis in SPSS 18.
Results: Findings revealed that self-ambivalence had a significant positive correlation with OCD-relevant beliefs and OCD symptoms. The OCD-relevant beliefs also showed a significant positive association with OCD symptoms.  Analysis of the data revealed that OCD-beliefs mediated the relationship between self-ambivalence and OCD-symptoms.
Conclusion: Results indicate that individuals who are ambivalent about their self-worth, develop a morally and socially ideal self and relevant beliefs to resolve the self-ambivalence. These beliefs create a vulnerability for developing OCD. To conclude, interventions addressing the self-ambivalence and OCD-relevant beliefs can be effective in the prevention and treatment of OCD.