Clarifying the relationship between Trichotillomania and anxiety

Jennifer R. Alexander, David C. Houghton, Michael P. Twohig, Martin E. Franklin, Stephen M. Saunders, Angela M. Neal-Barnett, Scott N. Compton, Douglas W. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although research has consistently linked unidimensional anxiety with Trichotillomania (TTM) severity, the relationships between TTM severity and anxiety dimensions (e.g., cognitive and somatic anxiety) are unknown. This knowledge gap limits current TTM conceptualization and treatment. The present study examined these relationships with data collected from ninety-one adults who participated in a randomized clinical trial for TTM treatment. Based on prior research, it was hypothesized that TTM severity would be related to the cognitive anxiety dimension and that psychological inflexibility would mediate the association. Hypotheses were not made regarding the relationship between TTM severity and somatic anxiety. Regression analyses indicated that only cognitive dimensions of anxiety predicted TTM severity and that psychological inflexibility mediated this relationship. Implications for the conceptualization and treatment of TTM are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive anxiety
  • Psychological inflexibility
  • Somatic anxiety
  • Trichotillomania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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