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Reassurance seeking (RS) has emerged as an important transdiagnostic psychological construct. However, RS has been conceptualized inconsistently and applied to functionally disparate behaviors within research and practice. In order to clarify the construct, the presently proposed Integrative Functional Model of Reassurance Seeking (IFM-RS) operationalizes and categorizes RS behaviors according to their functions. The following three categories comprise the model: Avoidant (negatively reinforced) RS, Evocative (positively reinforced) RS, and Bifunctional (simultaneously reinforced) RS. To evidence the validity and utility of this model, a review of relevant research is presented. The IFM-RS is then applied in conceptualizing the deleterious effects of RS on mental health and relevant treatment implications are subsequently discussed. We contend that adoption of the IFM-RS and its terminology by clinicians and researchers would facilitate accurate communication about the construct, improve the validity and applicability of RS research, and guide clinicians to effectively identify and target RS behaviors in the context of psychopathology.
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- Clarifying a Construct: An Integrative Functional Model of Reassurance-Seeking Behaviors
Dodie A. Gillett
Steven J. Mazza
- Springer US
Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Print ISSN: 0894-9085
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6563