African Americans report greater contamination aversion than European Americans. Few studies have attempted to identify potential causes for this elevated contamination aversion, though existing research and theory suggests this may be partly due to concomitant heightened disgust sensitivity. The present study examined the relations between race, disgust sensitivity, and contamination aversion among African and European Americans. A convenience sample of four-hundred and twenty-nine participants completed the Disgust Scale – Revised (DS-R) and the Padua Inventory – Revised (PI-R). African Americans endorsed greater disgust sensitivity (DS- R total) – particularly on the core and contamination subscales of the DS-R – and scored higher on the contamination subscale of the PI-R (but not on other subscales) than European Americans. Mediational analyses revealed a significant total effect of race on contamination aversion and a significant indirect effect of race on contamination aversion through disgust sensitivity; the direct effect of race on contamination aversion remained significant even after controlling for race. These findings suggest that elevated contamination aversions among African Americans may be partly due to elevated disgust sensitivity. If confirmed with larger and clinical samples, and more robust experimental methods, this relationship may prove to have implications for the treatment of contamination-based obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) among African Americans.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders|
|State||Published - Oct 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
National Institute of Mental Health, United States, 1K23MH111977.
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.
- African American
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health