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, 44 (4), 433-40

Obsessing About Intimate-Relationships: Testing the Double Relationship-Vulnerability Hypothesis

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Obsessing About Intimate-Relationships: Testing the Double Relationship-Vulnerability Hypothesis

Guy Doron et al. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry.

Abstract

Background and objectives: Obsessive preoccupation and doubts centering on one's intimate relationship may have a negative impact on the romantic dyad and lead to significant distress. In this research we investigated whether the co-occurrence of attachment anxiety and overreliance on intimate relationships for self-worth-what we call double relationship-vulnerability-is linked with relationship-centered obsessions and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Methods: Study 1 employed a correlational design to examine the link between double relationship-vulnerability and relationship-centered obsessions. Study 2 employed an experimental design to assess response to subtle threats to the relationship self-domain among individuals with double relationship-vulnerability.

Results: Study 1 supported the link between double relationship-vulnerability and relationship-centered obsessions. Study 2 showed that when confronted with subtle threats to the relationship self-domain, individuals with double relationship-vulnerability are more likely to experience distress and engage in mitigating behavior in response to relationship doubts and fears.

Limitations: Our studies were conducted with non-clinical samples.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that double relationship-vulnerability may make individuals more susceptible to the development and maintenance of relationship-centered obsessions and compulsions.

Keywords: Cognition; Cognitive theory; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Relationship-centered obsessions; Relationships.

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