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01-02-2011 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2011

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2011

Looming Vulnerability: Incremental Validity of a Fearful Cognitive Distortion in Contamination Fears

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2011
Auteurs:
Lisa S. Elwood, John H. Riskind, Bunmi O. Olatunji

Abstract

Looming vulnerability is a cognitive vulnerability for anxiety syndromes that pertains to a tendency to construct dynamic expectations (i.e., mental scenarios) of negative events as progressively increasing in danger and rapidly escalating in risk. The present study tested the hypothesis that looming vulnerability to contamination (i.e., looming of contamination) and generalized looming vulnerability would be positively related to contamination fears commonly observed in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) even when controlling for other vulnerabilities such as negative affectivity, anxiety sensitivity, and appraisals of potential for harm. The results support the predictions that both generalized looming vulnerability and looming of contamination are independently associated with contamination fears. Examination of the specificity of the ‘growing’ and ‘spreading’ aspects of contamination looming revealed that these components did not independently predict contamination fears beyond the additional vulnerabilities, supporting the consideration of a total looming of contamination construct rather than independent examination of its components. The implications of these findings for the conceptualization and treatment of contamination-based OCD are discussed.

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