Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 83 Issue 1 (March 2010), Pages 1-109

Non‐clinical obsessions in a young adolescent population: Frequency and association with metacognitive variables (pages 15-26)

Objectives. Little is known about normal obsessions in adolescence. This study examined the frequency and content of intrusions in adolescence, and a number of process variables that have been associated with obsessions in adults.

Design and methods. Sixty‐two adolescents (aged 12–14 years) participated. They completed measures of obsessions and metacognitive beliefs. They were interviewed about recent episodes of obsessional thought, including content, frequency, acceptability, distress, dismissibilty, interference, and avoidance.

Results. Seventy‐seven per cent of participants reported obsessions. Frequency, distress, dismissibility, acceptability, interference, and avoidance, were associated with metacognitive appraisals.

Conclusions. Obsessions are a normal experience in adolescence and are associated with metacognitive appraisals in the same way as for adults, indicating that adult models may be relevant for this younger population.

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