Obsessive-compulsive symptoms in children with first degree relatives diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder


Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr.




Objective: A first-degree relative affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in childhood is an important risk factor for developing the disorder in adulthood. The relationship between a family history of OCD and the presence of OCS and its correlates in childhood is not well established. Methods: A total of 66 children whose parents or siblings have been diagnosed with OCD were assessed for the presence of OCS and clinical correlates. Results: Three children (4.5%) were reported to have received an OCD diagnosis and another 26 (39.4%) were identified as having OCS. Children with OCS had higher rates of coercive behavior and came from families with lower socioeconomic status. Contamination/cleaning dimension symptoms in the proband were associated with OCS in the assessed children. Conclusion: OCS are frequent among family members of individuals with OCD and are associated with socioeconomic status, coercive behaviors and proband contamination/cleaning symptoms. Future longitudinal studies should test the risk of developing OCD in association with these characteristics.

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