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    Mathieu, Sharna L. Farrell, Lara J. Waters, Allison M. and Lightbody, Jean 2015. An observational study of parent–child behaviours in paediatric OCD: Examining the origins of inflated responsibility. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Vol. 6, p. 132.

    Murphy, Yolanda E. and Flessner, Christopher A. 2015. Family functioning in paediatric obsessive compulsive and related disorders. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 54, Issue. 4, p. 414.

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    Haciomeroglu, Bikem and Karanci, A. Nuray 2014. Perceived Parental Rearing Behaviours, Responsibility Attitudes and Life Events as Predictors of Obsessive Compulsive Symptomatology: Test of a Cognitive Model. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Vol. 42, Issue. 06, p. 641.

    Thiel, Nicola Tuschen-Caffier, Brunna Herbst, Nirmal Külz, Anne Katrin Nissen, Christoph Hertenstein, Elisabeth Gross, Ellen and Voderholzer, Ulrich 2014. The prediction of treatment outcomes by early maladaptive schemas and schema modes in obsessive-compulsive disorder. BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 14, Issue. 1,

    Farrell, Lara J. Hourigan, Donna and Waters, Allison M. 2013. Do mothers enhance responsibility in children with obsessive–compulsive disorder? A preliminary study of mother–child interactions during a problem solving discussion. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 78.

  • Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Volume 39, Issue 2
  • March 2011, pp. 229-234

Pathways to Inflated Responsibility Beliefs in Adolescent Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Preliminary Investigation

  • Peter J. Lawrence (a1) and Tim I. Williams (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 23 November 2010

Background: An inflated sense of responsibility is characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). No previous studies have investigated its origins. Five potential pathways to inflated responsibility beliefs have been proposed; these are tested in this study. Method: A novel measure, the Origins Questionnaire for Adolescents (OQA), was developed to assess experiences on these five pathways. Reliability of the OQA was investigated. The experiences on the five pathways to inflated responsibility beliefs of 16 adolescents with a history of OCD were compared to 16 adolescents with no history of OCD. Parents also reported on adolescents' experiences on the five pathways. Results: Test-retest reliability was high. The internal consistency of the subscales was only partly satisfactory. The groups differed on one pathway; the clinical group reported a higher sense of responsibility for significant incidents with a negative outcome prior to onset of OCD. Conclusions: An inflated sense of responsibility, in combination with the occurrence of specific incidents, might act as a vulnerability factor for development of OCD. Future research should consider how to measure the subtle effects of experiences of responsibility over the course of development.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Peter Lawrence, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. E-mail:
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P. M. Salkovskis (1989). Cognitive behavioural factors and the persistence of intrusive thoughts in obsessional problems. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 27, 677682.

P. Salkovskis , R. Shafran , S. Rachman and M. H. Freeston (1999). Multiple pathways to inflated responsibility beliefs in obsessional problems: possible origins and implications for therapy and research. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37, 10551072.

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  • ISSN: 1352-4658
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