, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 457-471

Thought-Focused Attention and Obsessive–Compulsive Symptoms: An Evaluation of Cognitive Self-Consciousness in a Nonclinical Sample

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Abstract

Cognitive self-consciousness (CSC), the tendency to focus attention on and be aware of one's thoughts, has differentiated individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) from individuals with other anxiety disorders and from normal controls. A self-report measure of CSC was administered to a nonclinical sample (N = 323) and the relationship to OCD symptoms and intrusive thought appraisals was evaluated. Evaluation of the CSC measure indicated that the scale was internally consistent and unifactorial. CSC predicted OCD symptoms after controlling for trait anxiety and intrusive thought appraisals, ΔR 2 =.07, p < .001. Analyses revealed that CSC and intrusive thought appraisals were largely independent predictors of OCD symptoms. Metacognitive processes such as CSC appear distinguishable from intrusive thought appraisals. CSC may play an important role in the development or maintenance of OCD, and clinical implications are discussed.