An experimental study examining the relationship between parenting behaviours, responsibility beliefs and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in nonclinical children and their mothers

Burton, Rosie (2012) An experimental study examining the relationship between parenting behaviours, responsibility beliefs and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in nonclinical children and their mothers. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Inflated responsibility (Salkovskis, 1985) is proposed as a central concept in
understanding the development and maintenance of OCD. Salkovskis et al. (1999)
proposed that inflated responsibility develops during childhood and parenting
behaviours assume a significant role in the development of this cognitive
vulnerability. The aim of this research was to investigate if parenting behaviours
mediate the relationship between maternal responsibility beliefs and the development
and maintenance of OCD like behaviours in their non-anxious children.
Method
This study used an experimental between-subjects design. 38 children aged
9–12 years were exposed to a high responsibility condition. Their mothers were
randomly allocated to either a condition of inflated responsibility or no
responsibility. During a sweet sorting task, maternal behaviours were coded for the
constructs of warmth and control and the amount of reassurance giving was
measured. In addition, the OCD like behaviours of the child were measured. State
anxiety was measured pre and post task in mothers and their children.
Results
The results demonstrated that the experimental manipulation was not
successful in increasing either maternal or child subjective responsibility beliefs.
However, mothers in a condition of inflated responsibility demonstrated significantly
less warmth when reading sorting instructions to their child and significantly more
control during the sorting task than mothers in a condition of no responsibility. No
significant differences were found in reassurance giving or maternal warmth during
the task phase. Additionally, no significant differences were observed in child
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behaviours during the sorting task. State anxiety in both children and mothers
reduced significantly from baseline to post task.
Conclusions
It is proposed that these findings suggest that the experimental manipulation
did have an impact on maternal levels of control and warmth; however these
differences were not strong enough in order to elicit an effect on children’s
behaviours. Methodological considerations are considered. Clinical and theoretical
implications are discussed and recommendations made for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2012 16:21
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2013 09:50
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/40575
DOI:

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