Metacognitive beliefs mediate the relationship between Anxiety Sensitivity and traits of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms
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.