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Title: An experimental study examining the relationship between parenting behaviours, responsibility beliefs and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in nonclinical children and their mothers
Author: Burton, Rosie
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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Inflated responsibility (Salkovskis, 1985) is proposed as a central concept in understanding the development and maintenance of OCD. Salkovskis et al. (1999) proposed that inflated responsibility develops during childhood and parenting behaviours assume a significant role in the development of this cognitive vulnerability. The aim of this research was to investigate if parenting behaviours mediate the relationship between maternal responsibility beliefs and the development and maintenance of OCD like behaviours in their non-anxious children. Method This study used an experimental between-subjects design. 38 children aged 9–12 years were exposed to a high responsibility condition. Their mothers were randomly allocated to either a condition of inflated responsibility or no responsibility. During a sweet sorting task, maternal behaviours were coded for the constructs of warmth and control and the amount of reassurance giving was measured. In addition, the OCD like behaviours of the child were measured. State anxiety was measured pre and post task in mothers and their children. Results The results demonstrated that the experimental manipulation was not successful in increasing either maternal or child subjective responsibility beliefs. However, mothers in a condition of inflated responsibility demonstrated significantly less warmth when reading sorting instructions to their child and significantly more control during the sorting task than mothers in a condition of no responsibility. No significant differences were found in reassurance giving or maternal warmth during the task phase. Additionally, no significant differences were observed in child iii behaviours during the sorting task. State anxiety in both children and mothers reduced significantly from baseline to post task. Conclusions It is proposed that these findings suggest that the experimental manipulation did have an impact on maternal levels of control and warmth; however these differences were not strong enough in order to elicit an effect on children’s behaviours. Methodological considerations are considered. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed and recommendations made for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available