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Compulsive checking and anxiety in a nonclinical sample: Differences in cognition, behavior, personality, and affect

  • Beth S. Gershuny
  • Kenneth J. Sher
Article

Abstract

This study addresses the question of why some highly anxious individuals exhibit excessive levels of compulsive checking behavior while other do not. To this end, nonclinical samples of compulsive checkers (n=19), (nonchecking) anxious controls (n=16), and (nonchecking) nonanxious controls (n=12) were compared on a variety of cognitive, behavioral, personality, and affective measures hypothesized to differentiate checkers from anxious controls. Results indicated that checkers exhibited higher levels of perfectionism and worry, and demonstrated greater cognitive impairment on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Furthermore, performance and subjective experiences of performance appeared to be mediated by perfectionism and worry. Findings suggest that both personality and cognitive variables are important correlates of the form of anxiety-related symptomatology.

Key words

checking anxiety obsessive-compulsive worry perfectionism 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth S. Gershuny
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. Sher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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