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01-10-2006 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2006

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 5/2006

Reactivity of Tic Observation Procedures to Situation and Setting

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 5/2006
John Piacentini, Michael B. Himle, Susanna Chang, David E. Baruch, Brian A. Buzzella, Amanda Pearlman, Douglas W. Woods


Tic frequency was assessed and compared across home and clinic as well as three experimentally-manipulated situations in order to assess the phenomenon of tic reactivity. Forty-three youngsters with chronic tic disorder recruited from two geographically-distinct sites were videotaped over three weekly laboratory visits under each of the following conditions: (1) alone/camera present, (2) other present/camera present, and (3) alone/camera hidden. Contrary to expectation, more tics were observed during overt as compared to covert observation, while the presence of another person had no overall impact on tic expression. Mean tic counts obtained from clinic observation did not significantly differ from those obtained at home collected either one day before or after. Tic frequency counts were remarkably stable over the three weekly assessments both at home and clinic. Study findings are consistent with past observations that tic expression can be influenced by environmental factors and suggest the stability of tic frequency may exhibit greater temporal and setting stability than previously thought. The clinical and research implications of these results are discussed.

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