Impact of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder symptoms in Internet users

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BACKGROUNDInternet use is pervasive in many cultures. Little is known about the impact of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) symptoms on impulsive and compulsive psychopathologies in people who use the Internet.METHODSAdult Internet users (N = 1,323) completed an online questionnaire quantifying OCPD symptoms, likely occurrence of select mental disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], problematic Internet use, generalized anxiety disorder), and personality questionnaires of impulsivity and compulsivity. Predictors of the presence of OCPD symptoms (endorsement of at least 4 of 8 DSM-5 criteria) were identified using binary logistic regression.RESULTSIn regression (P < .001, area under the curve, 0.77), OCPD symptoms were significantly associated with (in order of decreasing effect size) lower non-planning impulsivity, higher ADHD symptoms, problematic Internet use, avoidant personality disorder, female sex, generalized anxiety disorder, and some types of compulsions (checking, dressing/washing).CONCLUSIONSThese data suggest that OCPD symptoms, defined in terms of at least 4 of 8 DSM criteria being met, are common in Internet users. OCPD symptoms were associated with considerably higher levels of psychopathology relating to both impulsive (ADHD) and compulsive (OCD-related and problematic Internet use) disorders. These data merit replication and extension using standard in-person clinical assessments, because the current study relied on self-report over the Internet.

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