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Title: The origins of inflated responsibility : an investigation into the relationship between adaptive responsibility and responsibility appraisals in young people
Author: Bowers, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 9901
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2009
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Background Inflated responsibility is a cognitive distortion that is characteristic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and plays a crucial role in maintaining it (Salkovskis et at., 2000). The origins of inflated responsibility are uncertain, although Salkovskis, Shafran, Rachman, and Freeston (1999) proposed five hypotheses. Two of these related to experiences of excessive or insufficient levels of adaptive responsibility in childhood. With no existing measure of this `adaptive' responsibility, an initial aim of the study was to develop a measure to assess the responsibilities performed by young people. Then, the relationships between young people's adaptive responsibility, and parents' and young people's inflated responsibility and OCD symptomotology were investigated. Method The study used a cross sectional correlational design with a non-clinical population of young people (11 - 16years), and one of their parents (N = 67 dyads). All participants completed measures of inflated responsibility, OCD, and the adaptive responsibility of the young person. Results Responses on the new measure of adaptive responsibility were normally distributed, indicating that it adequately addressed the range of responsibilities across the 11-16 year age range. In contrast to the hypotheses, no significant relationships were found between high or low levels of adaptive responsibility and inflated responsibility or OCD symptoms in parents or young people. The exception was a significant difference in child-rated adaptive responsibility between those who scored high and low on the OCD-interference scale of the Leyton Obsessional Inventory-Child Version (Berg et al., 1988). Although parents' OCD was not related to young people's OCD or young people's inflated responsibility, parents' inflated responsibility was associatedw ith young people's inflated responsibility. Conclusions The results partially support the cognitive model of inflated responsibility in OCD, in both adults and young people. The relationship found between parents' and young people's inflated responsibility warrants further investigation. Methodological weaknesses must be acknowledged in interpreting the results and future research with larger samples is required to further explore the origins of inflated responsibility beliefs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available