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Structure of obsessive-compulsive symptoms in pediatric OCD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773 - 778
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
PublishedJul 2008

King's Authors


Objective: It is unclear whether the structure of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms seen in adults is. preserved in pediatric samples. Method: A total of 238 children and adolescents referred to a specialty pediatric OCD clinic were administered the Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Symptom Checklist, and its 13 major symptom categories were subjected to exploratory principal components analysis. The resulting factors were correlated with relevant clinical variables. Results: Principal components analysis identified four symptom dimensions explaining 55% of the total variance and broadly corresponding to those seen in adult samples. Boys were more likely to have sexual obsessions (34% vs. 18%, p =.01), whereas girls were more likely to endorse hoarding compulsions (53% vs. 36%, p =.009). High scores on the hoarding dimension were associated with increased levels of pervasive slowness, responsibility, indecisiveness, pathological doubt, depression and a variety of emotional difficulties, both self-rated and parent-rated. Conclusions: The structure of OCD symptoms is similar across the lifespan. Hoarding symptoms are prevalent in pediatric OCD, especially among girls, and are associated with greater levels of disability

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