Responsibility attitude, obsession and compulsion: further support in a non-clinical sample

Francesco Mancini, Francesca D'Olimpio, Stefania D'Ercole (2001): Responsibility attitude, obsession and compulsion: further support in a non-clinical sample. In: Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 8 (4), pp. 274–281, 2001, ISSN: 1099-0879.


Responsibility is one of the most investigated constructs in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Although there are an increasing number of studies on this topic, results seem to be questionable. Whereas several authors reported a significant link between OC behaviour and responsibility in nonclinical as well as in clinical samples, the findings of many authors failed to demonstrate the presence of such an association. In the current study, we examined the relationship between obsessive-compulsive behaviour and responsibility. To this aim, participants filled in five inventories: the Responsibility Attitude Scale (RAS), the Responsibility Questionnaire (RQ), the Padua Inventory Revised (PI-R), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Results showed a relationship between obsessive-compulsive behaviour (PI-R scores) and responsibility, as measured by both RAS and RQ. A principal component analysis showed that RAS can be interpreted as a four-factor scale, accounting for 63% of the variance overall. Regression analyses showed that responsibility can be considered a significant predictor of obsession and compulsion behaviour, as measured by PI-R. Furthermore, showing a connection between specific factors of responsibility and certain kinds of obsessive-compulsive behaviour, results seem to confirm the hypothesis that responsibility is more salient in checking than in cleaning symptoms. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.