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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Psichiatrica 2013 June;54(2):115-28

language: English

Controversies in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

Mccoy C., Napier D., Craig L., Lack C. W.

Department of Psychology University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, OK, USA


Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been recognized, described, and studied for several hundred years, research into how OCD presents in children and adolescents has only truly been occurring for the past three decades. While enormous amounts of knowledge have been generated during this time by psychiatrists, psychologists, and other researchers, there are nonetheless a number of highly controversial areas in the field where the literature is unclear, contradictory, or just not well-developed. This review will detail the most prominent disagreements and areas of uncertainty surrounding our current evidence-based understanding of pediatric OCD. These will include whether OCD itself should be classified as an anxiety disorder or should form the core of a different class of disorders; the optimal means of treatment and the role of combining pharmaceutical with psychosocial therapies; how best to disseminate evidence-based treatments; the potential role of autoimmune disorders associated with streptococcal infections in causing OCD; the structure of OCD, including the number of subtypes of the disorder; and the relative contributions of genetics versus environment to the chances of an individual developing OCD. The article concludes with recommendations for lines of research to assist in clearing up some of these controversies.

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