Familial Predictors of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom Dimensions (Contamination/Cleaning and Symmetry/Ordering) in a Nonclinical Sample

Authors

  • Joan Taberner,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Mental Health Area, Service of Adult Psychiatry, Althaia Health Network, Manresa, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Miquel A. Fullana,

    Corresponding author
    1. Anxiety Unit, IAPS, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Division of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
    • Department of Psychiatry, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xavier Caseras,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Division of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
    3. Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, Cardiff University, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Alberto Pertusa,

    1. Division of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Arturo Bados,

    1. Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment, University of Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marianne van den Bree,

    1. Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, Cardiff University, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rafael Torrubia

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author

  • We thank all the participants and colleagues (Carmina Saldaña, Eduardo Doval, Silvia Albiol, and Jordi Vicens) who helped us with the study.

Please address correspondence to: Miquel A. Fullana, PO 69 De Crespigny Park Rd., London, United Kingdom SE5 8AF. E-mail: Miguel.Fullana@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Introduction

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition, which can be expressed as various symptom dimensions, including contamination/cleaning and symmetry/ordering. Previous research suggests that these obsessive-compulsive (OC) dimensions may show specific associations with certain traits such as disgust sensitivity and “not just right” experiences (NJREs), but whether a familial association between these variables exists is unknown.

Objectives

The goal of this study was to test whether parental disgust sensitivity and NJREs predicted contamination/cleaning and symmetry/ordering respectively in the offspring.

Method

Contamination/cleaning, symmetry/ordering, disgust sensitivity, NJREs, and negative affect were assessed in a nonclinical sample (n = 184 triads comprising 184 female undergraduates and their parents). Associations between parental and offspring variables were investigated by means of bivariate correlations and multiple regression models, controlling for relevant variables.

Results

Neither disgust sensitivity nor NJREs in parents were significant predictors of contamination/cleaning or symmetry/ordering in the offspring.

Conclusions

Combined with previous research, our results suggest that the best familial predictors of OC symptom dimensions are the same symptom dimensions themselves.

Ancillary