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Depress Anxiety. 2002;15(2):66-8.

Childhood trauma in obsessive-compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, and controls.

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  • 1MRC Unit on Stress and Anxiety Disorders, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa.


There is relatively little data on the link between childhood trauma and obsessive-compulsive/putative obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. The revised Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), which assesses physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect, was administered to female patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n = 74; age: 36.1 plus minus 16.3), TTM (n = 36; age: 31.8 plus minus 12.3), and a group of normal controls (n = 31; age: 21.5 plus minus 1.0). The findings showed a significantly greater severity of childhood trauma in general, and emotional neglect specifically, in the patient groups compared to the controls. Although various factors may play a role in the etiology of both OCD and trichotillomania (TTM), this study is consistent with some evidence from previous studies suggesting that childhood trauma may play a role in the development of these disorders.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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