Is thought-action fusion specific to obsessive-compulsive disorder? A mediating role of negative affect

J. S. Abramowitz, Stephen Perry Whiteside, D. Lynam, S. Kalsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations


Thought-action fusion (TAF) is a cognitive bias presumed to underlie the development of obsessional problems (i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder; OCD). Previous studies have found that TAF is related to not only OCD, but also to other anxiety disorders. In the present study we compared levels of TAF in OCD patients and in patients with other anxiety disorders, depression, and healthy controls to examine whether TAF is characteristic of individuals with emotional distress in general, as opposed to anxiety disorders per se. We also examined whether negative affect (i.e. anxiety and depression) mediates the relationship between OCD and TAF. Results indicated that OCD patients were characterized by higher scores on likelihood-self and likelihood-other TAF, but that this difference was predominately due to differences in negative affect. These findings support a model in which negative affect mediates the relationship between OCD and TAF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1079
Number of pages11
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003



  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive-behavioral theory
  • Fusion
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Thought-action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this