Cultural context, obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, and cognitions: A preliminary study of three Turkish samples living in different countries

Yorulmaz O., Isik B.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, vol.46, no.2, pp.136-143, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00207594.2010.528423
  • Page Numbers: pp.136-143
  • Keywords: Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, Cognitions, Culture, Immigration, THOUGHT-ACTION FUSION, TURKEY, SCALE


Previous research findings have suggested that recent cognitive accounts of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are valid across different cultural contexts for both clinical and nonclinical samples; however, there is evidence that cultural differences may have an impact on a number of cognitive variables. For this reason, immigration provides an exceptional opportunity for an examination of the role of cultural context in cognitions and possible changes in cultural characteristics. To this end, the present study examined the interrelationships between thought-action fusion, thought control strategies and OCD symptoms in three nonclinical samples, taking the immigration factor into consideration. Thus, the current study included three Turkish sample groups: those who remigrated to Turkey from Bulgaria, those still living in Bulgaria, and those that have always resided in Turkey. The findings of the study supported the role of thought and action fusion and control strategies in OCD symptoms in a cross-cultural context. To illustrate, worry, as a thought control strategy for OCD symptoms, was a common factor in all three sample groups. However, differences were also noted between the groups, despite having the same ethnic origin. Although they immigrated back to Turkey and have been living there for a considerable period of time, the Turkish remigrants retained similar characteristics to the respondents in Bulgaria on cognitions in general. Consequently, it may be suggested that cultural context might have a relative impact on certain correlates. A replication of these findings using different immigration groups and examining various cultural factors is strongly encouraged.