Family and psychosocial predictors of obsessive compulsive disorder in a community sample of young adolescents

Laura A. Valleni-Basile, Carol Z. Garrison, Kirby L. Jackson, Jennifer L. Waller, Robert E. McKeown, Cheryl L. Addy, Steven P. Cuffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A two-stage epidemiologic study conducted between 1986 and 1988 in the southeastern United States investigated family and psychosocial predictors of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and subclinical OCD in young adolescents. In the first stage, a life-event schedule and a family adaptability and cohesion scale were administered to a community sample of 3,283 adolescents. In stage two, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia in School Age Children and the Children's Global Assessment Scale were administered to 488 mother-child pairs. In multivariable models family cohesion was the only significant correlate of OCD (odds ratio=0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.91-0.98). Gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, guardian status, adaptability, undesirable life events and desirable life events were not found to be significant predictors of OCD in models adjusting for cohesion. Note of the above variables were significantly associated with subclinical OCD. However, separate analyses of the 41 individual life events indicated seven specific events were significantly associated with OCD or subclinical OCD. These findings are at odds with the theory that overinvolvement of family members is a risk factor for OCD, though an association with overly rigid family structure cannot be eliminated based on these data. Further exploration of family characteristics is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-206
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptability
  • adolescent
  • cohesion
  • community sample
  • life events
  • obsessive compulsive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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