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Abstract

This study was concerned with lay beliefs about the importance of 24 different contributors towards overcoming five neurotic disorders. In this study, subjects (n = 113) completed a questionnaire indicating how effective 24 factors were to overcoming five specific problems: social phobia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Factor analysis revealed almost identical clusters for each problem, and a factor structure very close to Furnham and McDermott (1994). Three factors emerged and were labeled self-reliance, seeking help, and external control. The perceived relevance of only seeking help differed significantly between problems, with seeking help rated as most important and self-reliance least important overall. Some individual difference factors (sex and religion) were found to predict certain factor attributions for specific disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder was considered most in need of help and social phobia/panic disorder least. Females believed more in seeking help than males, who stressed external control more than females. Religious respondents rated external control more highly than nonreligious respondents. The clinical relevance of studying attributions for cure is also considered. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 53: 595–604, 1997.