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An experimental investigation of contamination-related reassurance seeking: Familiar versus unfamiliar others


An experimental investigation of contamination-related reassurance seeking: Familiar versus unfamiliar others

Neal, Rachael (2014) An experimental investigation of contamination-related reassurance seeking: Familiar versus unfamiliar others. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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An experimental investigation of contamination-related reassurance seeking: Familiar versus unfamiliar others

Rachael L. Neal

Excessive reassurance seeking (RS) in the context of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is heightened by ambiguous feedback (Parrish & Radomsky, 2011), and is theorized to be associated with a transfer of responsibility. Research in related areas of psychopathology suggests that familiarity with a partner can influence the likelihood that symptoms will be expressed. We hypothesized that participants (N = 90) in the company of a familiar (vs. unfamiliar) partner would seek more reassurance following an ambiguous dishwashing task, and that RS would be associated with changes in responsibility appraisals, such that RS would be associated with a decrease in ratings of personal responsibility and an increase in ratings of partner responsibility. Results demonstrated that participants sought more reassurance from familiar (vs. unfamiliar) others (F(3, 86) = 9.20, p < .001, partial η2 = .24); this effect was robust when reported by the partner (F(1, 88) = 27.04, p < .001, partial η2 = .24), a trend when reported by the participant (F(1, 88) = 2.72, p = .10, partial η2 = .03), but not significant when using objectively-coded data (F(1, 88) = 0.14, p = .71, partial η2 = .00). RS was not associated with responsibility decreases on the part of the reassurance seeker (F(1, 52) = 0.86, p = .36, partial η2 = .00) or increases for the reassurance provider (F(1, 52) = 0.03, p = .86, partial η2 = .00). Overall, results suggest that RS may be perceived as more excessive by familiar others than by relative strangers, which may contribute to the distress experienced by carers of individuals with OCD. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive formulations of and interventions for RS in OCD.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Neal, Rachael
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:7 July 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Radomsky, Adam
Keywords:Reassurance seeking, contamination, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), familiarity, interpersonal context, responsibility, responsibility transfer
ID Code:978798
Deposited By: RACHAEL NEAL
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 15:04
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47


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