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01-02-2011 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2011

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 1/2011

General and Maladaptive Personality Dimensions in Pediatric Obsessive–Compulsive Symptoms

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 1/2011
Nathalie Aelterman, Barbara De Clercq, Marleen De Bolle, Filip De Fruyt


Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and impairing clinical disorder in childhood, often characterized by a heterogeneous symptomatic profile and high co-occurrence with other disorders. The present study introduces a new perspective on the description of OCD symptoms in youth, and empirically examines the value of a personality framework (e.g. Five Factor of Personality; FFM) for understanding early OCD symptomatology in a referred sample of 274 children and adolescents, relying on age-specific measures of general and maladaptive personality. Differences in general and maladaptive personality traits for high versus low-scoring children and adolescents on the Obsessive–Compulsive Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL-OCS) were explored. The discriminant validity of both higher-and lower-order personality traits was supported, showing that high CBCL-OCS scorers are characterized by specific personality features ranging from adaptive to pathological, especially in terms of Conscientiousness. In addition, personality traits contributed to the accurate classification of high- versus low-scorers on the CBCL-OCS. Implications for clinical practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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