Experiential Avoidance as a Mediator of Relationships Between Cognitions and Hair-Pulling Severity

Melissa M. Norberg, Chad T. Wetterneck, Douglas W. Woods, Christine A. Conelea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive-behavioral models suggest that certain cognitions and beliefs are functionally related to hair pulling in persons with trichotillomania (TTM), but little empirical data have been collected to test such claims. This study assessed dysfunctional beliefs about appearance, shameful cognitions, and fear of negative evaluation and their relation to hair-pulling severity in a sample of individuals self-reporting a diagnosis of TTM. Results showed significant correlations between these cognitions and hair-pulling severity; however, relations diminished or disappeared when controlling for experiential avoidance, a tendency to avoid or escape from unwanted private events. These findings suggest that treatments targeting cognitions may benefit from focusing on experiential avoidance more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalBehavior modification
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • cognitions
  • experimental avoidance
  • hair pulling
  • mediators
  • trichotillomania

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