Explanatory Psychological Models of Obsessive Functioning: Systematic Review of Mancini’s Cognitive Model and Theoretical Review of Young’s Maladaptive Cognitive Schemas Model



Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common, debilitating, and expensive illnesses for the medical systems focusing on mental health. Given the heterogeneity specific to obsessive-compulsive symptomatology, experts have proposed several explanatory models over time to point out the mechanisms leading to such pathology. This research study – organised into two parts – analyses existing empirical data regarding two explanatory cognitive models of obsessive functioning, namely Mancini’s cognitive model and Young’s schemas and dysfunctional modes model. The first part comprises three systematic reviews with three qualitative analyses and a meta-analysis regarding the three main hypotheses of Mancini’s model. The meta-analyses have shown an average-sized effect of deontological guilt in the emergence of OCD-like behaviours in the non-clinical population compared to inducing altruistic guilt. However, the qualitative analyses suggest evidence regarding the association between disgust, Not Just Right Experience (NJRE) and OCD symptomatology. The second part of the research comprises a theoretical review of the studies focusing on Young’s schema therapy mode model to explain obsessive mental functioning. The present research studies on the topics are scarce, but they suggest that the two cognitive models point out accurately the mechanisms of obsessive functioning. Findings also show that there are attempts to reunite the two models in a more complex explanatory model. The aspects above may lead to the development of more effective intervention protocols for this type of pathology.


OCD, Mancini’s model, Young’s maladaptive schemas, review, meta-analysis

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