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The role of paternal accommodation of paediatric OCD symptoms: patterns and implications for treatment outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Benny Monzani, Pablo Vidal-Ribas, Cynthia Turner, Georgina Krebs, Caroline Stokes, Isobel Heyman, David Mataix-Cols, A. Stringaris

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Accepted/In press8 Jul 2020

King's Authors


Family accommodation (FA) refers to the participation of family members in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) rituals. Most studies have focused on maternal accommodation; consequently, little is known about fathers’ accommodation of OCD. The current study aims to extend the existing literature by examining maternal versus paternal accommodation of OCD symptoms.
The sample consisted of 209 children with OCD (Mean [M] age =14.1 years) and their parents (NMothers =209, NFathers = 209) who had completed the Family Accommodation Scale- Parent Report (FAS-PR). Paired t-test and chi-square analyses were used to compare FA of OCD symptoms between mothers and fathers. Linear regression was used to examine correlates of maternal and paternal FA and its impact on treatment outcomes.
Mothers reported significantly higher levels of daily FA than fathers. Correlates of maternal and paternal accommodation included OCD symptom severity, emotional and behavioral difficulties, and parent psychopathology. Both maternal and paternal FA significantly predicted worse treatment outcomes.
Both mothers and fathers accommodate child OCD symptoms with high frequency, and in similar ways. Although mothers accommodate to a greater extent than fathers, both maternal and paternal involvement in rituals is a significant predictor of the child’s treatment response. Results emphasise the need to consider the whole family system, including fathers, in understanding and treating OCD in children.

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