Thought-action fusion as a mediator of religiosity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms

Download files
Access & Terms of Use
open access
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Thought-action fusion (TAF), or maladaptive cognitions regarding the relationship between mental events and behaviours, has been implicated in the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As some religions promote TAF-like appraisals, it has been proposed that religiosity may play a role in the transformation of normally occurring intrusive thoughts into clinically distressing obsessions. No research, however, has experimentally investigated the mediating role of TAF on the relationship between religiosity and OC symptoms. Methods: 85 Christian, Jewish, and Atheist/Agnostic participants were exposed to an experimental thought-induction protocol and reported on their associated levels of distress, guilt, feelings of responsibility, and urge to suppress target intrusions experienced during a 5-minute monitoring period. Participants also completed measures of obsessive-compulsive symptomatology, TAF beliefs, and general psychopathology. Results: Using PROCESS and bootstrapping analyses, a test of the conditional indirect effects of religiosity on obsessive-compulsive symptoms revealed that Christianity moderated the effects of religiosity on moral TAF beliefs, which in turn mediated the relationship between religiosity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Furthermore, in the Christian group, moral TAF beliefs mediated the relationship between religiosity and ratings of guilt and responsibility following the experimental protocol. Limitations: The use of university students with moderate levels of religiosity. Conclusions: Collectively the results suggest that obsessional thinking is not attributable to religion per se, but that teachings underlying certain religious doctrines may fuel TAF beliefs that are implicated in the maintenance of OCD.
Persistent link to this record
DOI
Additional Link
Author(s)
Williams, Alishia
Lau, Gloria
Grisham, Jessica
Supervisor(s)
Creator(s)
Editor(s)
Translator(s)
Curator(s)
Designer(s)
Arranger(s)
Composer(s)
Recordist(s)
Conference Proceedings Editor(s)
Other Contributor(s)
Corporate/Industry Contributor(s)
Publication Year
2013
Resource Type
Journal Article
Degree Type