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Scrupulosity, Religious Affiliation and Symptom Presentation in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2019

Jennifer L. Buchholz*
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Jonathan S. Abramowitz
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Bradley C. Riemann
Affiliation:
Rogers Memorial Hospital, 34700 Valley Road, Oconomowoc, WI 53066, USA
Lillian Reuman
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Shannon M. Blakey
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Rachel C. Leonard
Affiliation:
Rogers Memorial Hospital, 34700 Valley Road, Oconomowoc, WI 53066, USA
Katherine A. Thompson
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Correspondence to Jennifer Buchholz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA. E-mail: jbuchholz@unc.edu

Abstract

Background: Scrupulosity is a common yet understudied presentation of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions focused on religion. Despite the clinical relevance of scrupulosity to some presentations of OCD, little is known about the association between scrupulosity and symptom severity across religious groups. Aims: The present study examined the relationship between (a) religious affiliation and OCD symptoms, (b) religious affiliation and scrupulosity, and (c) scrupulosity and OCD symptoms across religious affiliations. Method: One-way ANOVAs, Pearson correlations and regression-based moderation analyses were conducted to evaluate these relationships in 180 treatment-seeking adults with OCD who completed measures of scrupulosity and OCD symptom severity. Results: Scrupulosity, but not OCD symptoms in general, differed across religious affiliations. Individuals who identified as Catholic reported the highest level of scrupulosity relative to individuals who identified as Protestant, Jewish or having no religion. Scrupulosity was associated with OCD symptom severity globally and across symptom dimensions, and the magnitude of these relationships differed by religious affiliation. Conclusions: Findings are discussed in terms of the dimensionality of scrupulosity, need for further assessment instruments, implications for assessment and intervention, and the consideration of religious identity in treatment.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2019 

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