The relationship between alexithymia, cognitive avoidance, and distress tolerance with the dimensions of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran

2 PhD Student, Department of Psychology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran.



Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between alexithymia, Cognitive Avoidance, and distress tolerance with obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Methods and Materials: A total of 150 students (105 girls and 45 boys) from the University of Mashhad Ferdowsi participated in this research. Participants were asked to complete the Persian version of the 20 -Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS -20), the Cognitive Avoidance Scale (CAQ), the Distress Tolerance Questionnaire (DTS), Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory (MOCI), and demographic data questionnaire. The gathered data were analyzed using Pearson correlation and stepwise regression. Results: The highest correlation relationships were between Obsessive-Compulsive with a total score of Alexithymia (r=0.43), the total score of Cognitive Avoidance Questionnaire (r=0.39), the total score of Distress Tolerance Scale (r=-0.43), Checking sub-scale of Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (r=0.71), Cleaning sub-scale of Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (r=0.75), Slowness sub-scale of Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (r=0.48) and Doubting sub-scale of Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (r=0.68). Conclusion: This study showed that the subscales of cleanliness, revision, hesitation, and slowness of obsessive-compulsive disorder and emotional dyslexia, distress tolerance, and cognitive avoidance have the greatest contribution in predicting obsessive-compulsive disorder. The results obtained from the present study highlight the need to pay attention to these variables in the research and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.