University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2020


Background: Metacognition has been shown as a key contributor to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as other anxiety-related disorders, yet its role in the development and maintenance of these disorders remains unclear. This study aims to investigate whether anxiety sensitivity traits are related to obsessive-compulsive symptoms in the general population and whether the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms is mediated by metacognition.

Methods: Non-clinical volunteers (N=156, mean age: 23.97, 121 females) completed measures related to state/trait anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, obsessive compulsive symptoms and metacognition.

Results: A direct relationship between anxiety sensitivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms was established. Further analysis revealed that metacognition was the strongest mediator of this relationship, even when accounting for state and trait anxiety.

Conclusions: Results suggest that the relationships between traits of anxiety sensitivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms are partially attributable to the role of metacognition.


© 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this licence, visit

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