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11-08-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2017

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 3/2017

Examination of the Phenomenology and Clinical Correlates of Emetophobia in a Sample of Salvadorian Youths

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 3/2017
Monica S. Wu, Robert R. Selles, Juan Carlos Novoa, Raquel Zepeda, Daniel Guttfreund, Nicole M. McBride, Eric A. Storch


Emetophobia is an under-researched disorder characterized by a specific fear of vomiting. There is a paucity of research on this impairing condition, with extant examinations being largely limited to adult samples and online communities. The present study examined the incidence, phenomenology, and correlates of emetophobia in 305 Salvadorian youths. Caregivers completed a battery of questionnaires regarding the youth’s symptoms of emetophobia, internalizing/externalizing symptoms, health anxiety, and obsessive–compulsive symptoms. Approximately 7.5 % of the sample was elevated on emetophobia symptoms, and higher levels of emetophobia symptoms were correlated with higher levels of internalizing, externalizing, health anxiety, and obsessive–compulsive symptoms, and lower levels of adaptive functioning. Youths meeting the cutoff for elevated emetophobia symptoms versus those who did not demonstrated significantly higher levels of externalizing behaviors, as well as general obsessive–compulsive symptoms, especially doubting/checking and neutralizing behaviors. These findings are hoped to help improve the conceptualization and treatment of this poorly understood disorder.

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