ARE OBSESSIVE–COMPULSIVE SYMPTOM DIMENSIONS FAMILIAL IN NONCLINICAL INDIVIDUALS?


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Abstract

Background:Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition, which can be expressed as various potentially overlapping symptom dimensions. In clinical samples, some of these dimensions are associated with increased familial risk for OCD and appear to be familial (intercorrelated within pairs of affected family members), whereas others are not. The goal of this study was to determine whether obsessive–compulsive (OC) symptom dimensions are familial in a nonclinical sample.Methods:OC symptom dimensions and negative affect were assessed in 184 female undergraduate students and their parents using the Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory—Revised (OCI-R) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scales, respectively. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression models controlling for age and negative affect were employed to examine the familiarity of OC symptom dimensions.Results:The OCI-R total scores were significantly correlated in both mother–daughter and father–daughter dyads but the magnitude of these correlations tended to be greater for the mother–daughter dyads. Multiple regression models showed that the Ordering and Hoarding subscales of the OCI-R breed true in mother–daughter dyads. Ordering scores in mothers were also predictive of other symptoms in the daughters (Washing and Checking).Conclusions:These results are broadly consistent with the findings in clinical samples and suggest that Ordering and Hoarding are more strongly familial than other symptom dimensions and that high Ordering scores in mothers are associated with increased levels of symptoms in daughters in a less specific manner. Depression and Anxiety, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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