Obsessive-Compulsive Characteristics: From Symptoms to Syndrome

Geha Psychiatric Hospital, Sackler School of Medicine, University of Tel Aviv.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.26). 08/1996; 35(7):907-12. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-199607000-00016
Source: PubMed


To assess the distribution and severity of obsessions and compulsions in a nonclinical adolescent population.
During preinduction military screening, 861 sixteen-year-old Israelis completed a questionnaire regarding the lifetime presence of eight obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms and three severity measures. The presence or absence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or subclinical OCD was ascertained by an independent interview.
Although only 8.0% and 6.3% of respondents reported disturbing and intrusive thoughts, respectively, 27% to 72% of subjects endorsed the six remaining OCD symptoms. Twenty percent of subjects regarded the symptoms they endorsed as senseless and 3.5% found them disturbing; 8% reported spending more than an hour daily on symptoms. OCD and subclinical OCD cases differed significantly from non-OCD cases, but not from each other, in distress and mean number of symptoms. Although the distribution of nine of the items differed for noncases, compared with OCD and subclinical OCD cases, the distributions for all items overlapped markedly across the three groups.
OC phenomena appear to be on a continuum with few symptoms and minimal severity at one end and many symptoms and severe impairment on the other. Defining optimal cutoff points for distinguishing between psychiatric disorder and OC phenomena that are common in the general population remains an open question.

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    • "Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by interfering obsessions and/or compulsions (American Psychiatric Association 2000) that occurs in approximately 1–2 % of children and adolescents (Apter et al. 1996; Rapoport et al. 2000). Additionally OCD caseness confers significant functional impairment (Piacentini et al. 2007) and risk for other psychological disorders that increase the discomfort and complicate OCD's assessment and treatment (Storch et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The assessment of varied psychiatric disorders, including obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), is shifting towards the use of evidence-based assessments (EBAs). This shift has fostered the development, validation and adaptation of several measures to rate obsessive–compulsive symptoms and other related problematic areas such as functional impairment or family attitudes among others. The aim of this paper is to present a systematic review of psychometric studies on pediatric OCD-specific measures to classify these according to assessment evidence-based criteria. Selection criteria that determined which studies were included in the review were: (1) analyzing an OCD measure and (2) including participants’ age being 18 years or younger. The literature search procedure was conducted in Medline, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, ERIC, Cochrane Library, and Scholar Google databases and enabled us to locate 42 studies which analyzed psychometric properties of 14 OCD measures studied in children and adolescents. Instruments were grouped into the following assessment areas: symptom presence and severity, functional impairment, family functioning and cognitive dimensions of OCD. Psychometric data regarding internal structure, internal consistency, reliability, validity and diagnostic precision were also reported. Further, measures were classified as well-established, approaching well-established and promising assessments in terms of reliability and validity. We concluded that the assessment of OCD in pediatric populations is a growing field that in a short-medium term could provide a wide variety of EBAs for the evaluation obsessive–compulsive symptoms and other OCD-related dimensions. The paper concludes by highlighting directions for future research.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2014; 23(8). DOI:10.1007/s10826-013-9801-7 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    • "About 2–3% of individuals in Israel contract OCD (Zohar et al., 1992; Zohar, 1999). However, most normal individuals exhibit some degree of obsessive and compulsive behavior (Apter et al., 1996). In very young children (Zohar & Felz, 2001), in school age children (Zohar & Bruno, 1997), and in young adults (Zohar, LaBuda, & Moschel-Ravid, 1995) there are individual differences in the level of OC behavior, and in OC personality traits. "
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    ABSTRACT: Individual differences in obsessive-compulsive (OC) behavior in various cultures correlate with religiosity. The current paper explored the so far unstudied relationship between religiosity and OC behavior in Israeli Jews. Two studies were conducted. Study 1 focused on the relationship between religiosity and OC behavior in a representative sample of Israeli students. Study 2 focused on religious change and OC behavior in a non-random sample of 31 individuals who had become more religious (the MR group), and 30 individuals who were less religious (the LR group) than their parents. Instruments used were the Maudsley obsessive-compulsive inventory (MOCI), the student religiosity questionnaire, and questions about parental home observance, upbringing, and changes in religiosity. In the first study, no association was found between religiosity and OC behavior. Religiosity was related to some degree to perfectionism and to the parental attitude to upbringing. In the second study, a significant difference was observed between the MR and the LR groups on OC behavior as measured by the MOCI. Conclusion, among Israeli Jews a lot of religious observance is non-reflective, and is not associated with individual differences in personality or OC symptoms. Those who undergo religious change may do so in response to their behavioral propensities. One such path is that the more OC become MR, and the less OC less religiously observant.
    Behaviour Research and Therapy 08/2005; 43(7):857-68. DOI:10.1016/j.brat.2004.06.009 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    • "Consistent with the constitution of DSM-lV, the categorical approach to OCD is accepted by many clinicians. Although obsessive tendencies may be demonstrated in a large minority of people [54], florid OCD appears to occur precipitously in a relatively small number of people while leaving the remainder of the population almost completely unaffected. "
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    ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) possesses distinctive characteristics inviting evolutionary and anthropological explanations. A genetically based condition with low fecundity persisting through generations is paradoxical. The concept of group selection is an evolutionary principle capable of clarifying the perplexing epidemiology of OCD. Using a group-selection paradigm, the authors propose that OCD reflects an ancient form of behavioural specialization. The majority of compulsions such as checking, washing, counting, needing to confess, hoarding and requiring precision, all carry the potential to benefit society. Focussing primarily on hunting and gathering cultures, the potential evolutionary advantages of OCD are explored.
    Medical Hypotheses 02/2005; 65(4):655-64. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2005.05.023 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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