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Developmental Aspects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Findings in Children, Adolescents, and Adults

GELLER, DANIEL A. MBBS, FRACP1; BIEDERMAN, JOSEPH M.D.1; FARAONE, STEPHEN Ph.D.2; AGRANAT, ANAT M.D., M.Sc.3; CRADOCK, KATHLEEN B.A.1; HAGERMOSER, LISA B.A.1; KIM, GRACE M.A.R.1; FRAZIER, JEAN M.D.1; COFFEY, BARBARA J. M.D.1

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2001 - Volume 189 - Issue 7 - p 471-477
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Although juvenile obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is increasingly recognized as a putative developmental subtype of the disorder, comparisons among children, adolescents, and adults with OCD have been lacking. We aimed to evaluate clinical correlates of OCD in three developmentally distinct groups. Subjects comprised children, adolescents, and adults meeting DSM-III-R and DSM-IV criteria for OCD referred to separate specialized OCD clinics. All subjects were systematically evaluated with structured diagnostic interviews and clinical assessments by OCD experts. Specific clinical correlates and symptom profiles were associated with the disorder in different age groups. These findings support a hypothesis of developmental discontinuity between juvenile and adult OCD and identify age specific correlates of the disorder across the life cycle. Further work is needed to validate whether juvenile-onset OCD represents a true developmental subtype of the disorder.

1 Joint Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts 02478. Send reprint requests to Dr. Daniel Geller, Pediatric OCD Clinic, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, Massachusetts 02478.

2 Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

This work has been funded in part by an Eli Lilly Pilot Research Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a Tourette Syndrome Association Foundation award, an Obsessive Compulsive Foundation award, as well as NIMH K08 MH01481.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.