College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Recognition of Scrupulosity and Non-Religious OCD by Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Jews

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2010

Keywords

Religiousness, Scruples, Orthodox Jews, Religious Communities, Implicit Religion

Publication Title

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

ISSN

0736-7236

Volume

29

Issue/No.

8

Abstract

Perceptions of psychological symptoms may be influenced by religiousness, particularly when symptom presentation is shaped by a socio-religious context. We therefore examined whether among Jews, Orthodox affiliation was related to recognition of scrupulosity as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Seventy Orthodox and 23 non-Orthodox Jews were randomized to view one of two matched vignettes describing religious or non-religious OCD. Whereas Orthodox Jews were equally likely to recognize both vignettes as OCD, non-Orthodox Jews were less likely to recognize the religious than the non-religious presentation as OCD. Furthermore, Orthodox Jews were equally likely to recommend professional treatment for both scrupulosity and non-religious OCD, whereas non-Orthodox Jews were less likely to recommend professional treatment for scrupulosity compared to non-religious OCD. These findings may suggest that familiarity with Orthodox practices increases sensitivity to distinctions between scrupulosity and normative religion, thereby increasing recognition of the need for professional treatment.

DOI

10.1521/jscp.2010.29.8.930