Religion, moral thought–action fusion, and obsessive–compulsive features in Israeli Muslims and Jews

Jedidiah Siev*, Amitai Abramovitch, Gal Ogen, Avigail Burstein, Asala Halaj, Jonathan D. Huppert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous studies suggest that the link between obsessive–compulsive (OC) symptoms and moral thought–action fusion (TAF) depends on religion; however, no study has compared Muslim and Jewish samples. We examined the relationships between OC symptoms, scrupulosity, religiosity, and moral TAF in Israeli Muslims and Jews. Religiosity was not associated with elevations in OC symptoms, although religiosity correlated with scrupulosity across the entire sample after controlling for depression and anxiety. Moral TAF was related to scrupulosity across the entire sample. The Muslim group had higher levels of OC symptoms, scrupulosity, and depressive symptoms than did the Jewish group, but the groups were equally religious. In addition, Muslims scored higher than did Jews on moral TAF even after controlling for symptoms; however, moral TAF was not related to scrupulosity within the Muslim group. In combination, these results imply that moral TAF depends on cultural and religious factors and does not necessarily indicate pathology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)696-707
Number of pages12
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number7
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder
  • cognition
  • cross-cultural
  • religiosity
  • scrupulosity
  • thought–action fusion


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