In this study, student participants were assessed as to their attachment representations, self structure, world view assumptions and OC cognitions and symptoms. The interrelationships between these structures and their link with OC symptoms were explored. The study further aimed to investigate whether the relationship between attachment representation and OC symptoms was fully or partially mediated by the hypothesized cognitive affective structures (i.e., sensitive sense of self and assumptions about the world) and OC related cognitions.
It was hypothesized that a model including attachment representation, perceptions of self and the world would show a good fit of the data (see Figure 5). Further, in accordance with attachment theory implicating IWMs of self and IWMs of other in the development of perceptions of self, human nature and the world (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980; Bretherton & Munholland, 1999; Catlin & Epstein, 1992; Doron & Kyrios, 2005) and recent findings linking IWMs with OC related dysfunctional cognitions (e.g., Wei et al., 2004), it was hypothesized that the influence IWMs of self and IWMs of other would be fully mediated by OC cognitions, sensitive self structures and perceptions of the world (Doron & Kyrios, 2005). Specifically, it was predicted that IWMs of self and IWMs of other would predict world perceptions, sensitive self structure and OC related cognitions. Sensitive self perceptions were expected to influence OC symptoms directly and via their influence on OC cognitions. Finally, world assumptions were hypothesized to predict OC symptoms directly and via OC related cognitions (see chapter 4 of this thesis).
In order to test the first hypothesis, a model allowing attachment representations to influence OC symptom severity both directly and indirectly (default model; also see figure 3) was examined. That is, the direct and indirect (i.e., via sensitive sense of self, assumptions about the world and OC related cognitions) paths between both attachment dimensions and OC symptoms was not constrained to zero. Examining the fit statistics of this model allowed the examination of the goodness of fit with the data.
In order to test the second hypothesis, the default model was compared with three alternative models: (a) A model where IWMs of self and IWMs of others predicted OC symptom severity only through the hypothesized cognitive structures and OC cognitions; (b) a model where IWMs of self was allowed to predict OC symptoms directly, but IWMs of others was not allowed to predict OC symptoms directly (i.e., only via the hypothesized cognitive affective structures and OC cognitions), and (c) a model where IWMs of others was allowed to predict OC symptoms directly, but IWMs of self was allowed to predict OC symptoms only indirectly. Comparing these three models with the default model enabled an investigation of which model (i.e., complete or partial mediation) best fit the data.