Inflated Responsibility Beliefs in Paediatric OCD: Exploring the Role of Parental Rearing and Child Age

  • Sharna L. MathieuEmail author
  • Elizabeth G. Conlon
  • Allison M. Waters
  • Matthew L. McKenzie
  • Lara J. Farrell
Original Article


Cognitive-behavioural models of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) propose that inflated responsibility beliefs are central to the maintenance of the disorder and are proposed to originate during early childhood via experiences of harsh and/or controlling parenting. The current study aimed to examine the associations between perceived parental rearing behaviours, inflated responsibility/threat beliefs, and OCD severity and impairment in children (aged 7–12 years) and adolescents (aged 13–17 years) with OCD (n = 136). Results indicated that for younger children, greater child perceptions of overprotection and anxious rearing were each associated with increased inflated responsibility beliefs. For older children, these positive associations remained, and furthermore, inflated responsibility beliefs mediated the association between perceived maternal anxious rearing and OCD impairment. Results highlight the role of the family in the development of inflated responsibility bias and OCD-related impairment.


Inflated responsibility Paediatric OCD Parental rearing Overprotection Anxious rearing 



This study was partially supported by funding from the Financial Markets for Children (2013.277), the National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1058025). The first author is a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award, and the fourth author is a recipient of both a Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship and an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. The funding bodies and academic scholarship providers were not involved in the study design, analyses, or submission process.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied Psychology, Menzies Institute of HealthGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.School of Applied Psychology, Menzies Institute of HealthGriffith UniversityMount GravattAustralia

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