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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Jun;51(6):582-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.02.016. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Rage attacks in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder: phenomenology and clinical correlates.

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University of South Florida, 800 6th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA.



Rage attacks have been documented in youth with varied psychiatric disorders, but few data have been reported on the clinical characteristics and correlates of rage attacks among children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


Participants were 86 children (ages 6-16 years) with a primary diagnosis of OCD. Patients and their primary caregiver were administered clinician-rated measures of obsessive-compulsive severity and rage severity. Children completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and the Child Sheehan Disability Scale-Child, whereas parents completed the Rage Attacks Questionnaire, Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Irritability Scale, Children's Affective Lability Scale, and Child Sheehan Disability Scale-Parent.


Rage was common among youth with OCD and was associated with varied clinical characteristics. Rage severity accounted for functional impairment beyond the influence of obsessive-compulsive symptom severity; however, these relations were explained by the impact of family accommodation.


These data suggest that rage attacks are relatively common, have a negative impact on illness presentation, and contribute to functional impairment above and beyond obsessive-compulsive symptom severity. Rage may contribute to family accommodation of symptoms, which may further affect obsessive-compulsive symptom severity and impairment.

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