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Eur Psychiatry. 2009 Apr;24(3):201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2008.11.003. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder traits and personality dimensions in parents of children with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, Institute of Neurosciences, Hospital Clínic Universitari, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBER), C/ Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.



To compare patterns of temperament and character and the prevalence of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) and OCPD traits in parents of children with OCD and parents of healthy controls.


TCI and SCID-II were administered to 63 parents of 32 children with OCD and 63 parents of age- and sex-matched controls with no psychiatric diagnosis. Interviewers were not blind to proband status. Personality dimension scores and frequencies of OCPD criteria in both groups were compared after excluding parents with a diagnosis of OCD. Relationships between TCI dimensions and OCPD symptoms in parents and the clinical characteristics of OCD children were also studied.


Parents of OCD children presented significantly higher scores in harm avoidance and lower scores in self-directedness, cooperativeness and reward dependence than parents of healthy children. A higher incidence of OCPD was found in parents of probands (p<0.02). Hoarding, perfectionism and preoccupation with details were significantly more frequent in parents of OCD children. Counting, ordering and cleaning compulsions in OCD children predicted elevated odds of perfectionism and rigidity in their parents.


The existence of the dimensional personality profile associated with OCD in parents of children with OCD and the higher number of OCPD criteria in these parents in comparison to parents of healthy children highlight the importance of the role of personality factors in familial OCD.

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