Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wu, Kevin D.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Reassurance-seeking is a safety-seeking behavior that has been observed across symptom dimensions of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including in individuals with scrupulosity, or moral/religious-based OCD. The current study sought to build upon existing literature by providing an examination of reassurance-seeking in the context of scrupulosity as com- pared with contamination concerns, which represent a different symptom dimension of OCD. Participants (N = 63) completed a battery of questionnaires prior to and following an administration of the Sentence Task—a laboratory-based task intended to elicit distress relevant to an obsessive belief known as thought-action fusion. The study utilized the TRSS-PM, a newly adapted measure of present-moment urges to seek reassurance. Regression analyses indicated that scrupulosity symptoms were a stronger predictor of TRSS-PM scores follow- ing the Sentence Task than were contamination concerns when controlling for anxiety. This represented a different pattern of results than emerged in a linear regression analysis measuring checking symptoms, of which both scrupulosity symptoms and contamination concerns were significant predictors. Scores on the TRSS-PM were positively correlated with scores on other measures of reassurance-seeking. The results of this study provide preliminary evidence that reassurance-seeking may be more specifically associated with scrupulosity than with other symptom dimensions of OCD. However, the current study was limited by a number of factors, including the use of a nonclinical college sample and the use of a new measure of reassurance-seeking without established psychometric properties. Future research should explore the mechanisms underlying the pattern of associations observed in the current study and should determine whether these findings may be meaningful for clinical decision-making and treatment planning.


69 pages




Northern Illinois University

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