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Behav Res Ther. 2003 Sep;41(9):1069-79.

Is thought-action fusion specific to obsessive-compulsive disorder?: a mediating role of negative affect.

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  • 1Mayo Clinic, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Thought-action fusion (TAF) is a cognitive bias presumed to underlie the development of obsessional problems (i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder; OCD). Previous studies have found that TAF is related to not only OCD, but also to other anxiety disorders. In the present study we compared levels of TAF in OCD patients and in patients with other anxiety disorders, depression, and healthy controls to examine whether TAF is characteristic of individuals with emotional distress in general, as opposed to anxiety disorders per se. We also examined whether negative affect (i.e. anxiety and depression) mediates the relationship between OCD and TAF. Results indicated that OCD patients were characterized by higher scores on likelihood-self and likelihood-other TAF, but that this difference was predominately due to differences in negative affect. These findings support a model in which negative affect mediates the relationship between OCD and TAF.

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