Are "not just right experiences" (NJREs) specific to obsessive-compulsive symptoms?: evidence that NJREs span across symptoms of emotional disorders

J Clin Psychol. 2014 Apr;70(4):353-63. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22034. Epub 2013 Aug 28.


Objective: "Not just right experiences" (NJREs) represent a mismatch between a perceived current versus desired state of experiences. NJREs are currently considered specific to obsessive-compulsive symptoms, but results from prior studies might have been affected by the assessment of NJREs that were particularly relevant to only obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Method: A large community sample of adults recruited through the Internet (N = 480, Mean age = 32.9 years, 54.7% female) completed self-report measures of symptom types and a modified self-report measure of NJREs.

Results: Consistent with predictions, NJREs tended to share statistically equivalent zero-order correlations with all of the assessed symptom types. NJREs were significantly related to only generalized anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms after accounting for important covariates, including general distress, perfection/certainty, and the overlap among the symptom types.

Conclusions: These results suggest that NJREs are relevant to a broader range of symptom types than previously thought.

Keywords: emotional disorders; generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); worry; “not just right experience” (NJRE).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology