Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 55–64

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: The Proximal and Distal Effects of Affective Variables on Behavioral Expression

Authors

  • Ellen J. Teng
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    • The Veterans Affairs Medical Center/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston
  • Douglas W. Woods
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Brook A. Marcks
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Michael P. Twohig
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    • University of Nevada –
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:JOBA.0000007456.24198.e4

Cite this article as:
Teng, E.J., Woods, D.W., Marcks, B.A. et al. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment (2004) 26: 55. doi:10.1023/B:JOBA.0000007456.24198.e4

Abstract

This paper reports on 2 studies designed to examine the contribution of affective variables on the expression of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs; e.g., skin picking, nail biting). The first study revealed that persons engaging in a BFRB experienced significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than those without BFRBs. The second study was conducted to determine if repetitive behaviors were differentially affected across various emotional states and across those persons with and without BFRBs. Participants were randomly exposed to anxiety, depression, boredom, and control conditions. Results showed no differential effects on the occurrence of repetitive behaviors within the no-BFRB group; however, the BFRB group engaged in more repetitive behaviors in the Bored condition than in the Control condition. This study offers the first experimental evidence that emotional variables can have a differential impact on the expression of BFRBs.

body-focused behaviorshabitsemotional regulationanxietynail bitingskin picking
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004