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Date of Award
Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
College of Psychology
behavioral approach, contamination, exposure, OCD, self-efficacy
Self-Efficacy (SE) has been explored extensively within the field of psychology. Despite a rich literature demonstrating its positive effect on various behavioral outcomes, including psychological treatment outcomes, little is known about the impact of SE on outcomes related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To fill this critical gap in the literature, the aim of the present study was to determine whether increasing SE may improve engagement in exposure-based interventions for contamination fears. Nonclinical participants (N = 120) were randomly assigned to complete a contamination-related behavioral approach task (CR-BAT) immediately following either a SE-boosting exercise or a non-SE related control. Results demonstrated that there were no differences between conditions in contamination-related SE or approach behavior during the CRBAT, indicating that the manipulation was ineffective in boosting SE. Interestingly, however, participants in the SE-boosting condition reported lower levels of anxiety during certain phases of the CR-BAT than did those in the control condition, suggesting that the manipulation was effective in reducing subjective distress. Furthermore, SE was positively correlated with approach behavior during the CR-BAT, thus corroborating past research linking SE to behavioral outcomes. Future research, using more effective methods to manipulate SE, is required to examine the causality of this relationship.
Merling, L. F.
(2018). Exploring the ‘Little Engine’ Effect: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Approaching Contamination. .
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_stuetd/116