Differential parental influence in the familial aggregation of obsessive compulsive disorder

Caleb M. Pardue, Nicholas J. Sibrava, Christina L. Boisseau, Maria C. Mancebo, Jane L. Eisen, Steven A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The familial nature of OCD has been well established. Clinical characteristics such as early age of onset, comorbidity with tic disorders, and higher rates of symmetry symptoms have been associated with the familial aggregation of OCD, though little research has examined the differential impact of paternal and maternal OCD. The current study explored parental influence on the expression of these characteristics and reports on 310 probands diagnosed with OCD as well as 1580 of their biological first-degree relatives. The probands were evaluated by trained clinical raters using semi-structured assessments, and relative diagnoses were obtained based on probands' reports. Similar to previous findings, 10.13% of the 1580 relatives (n=160) were reported to have significant OCD symptoms. Only probands who reported having a father with OCD, rather than any first-degree relative, were more likely to have an early age of onset, symmetry and exactness obsessions, and higher rates of comorbidity. No significant differences were found with respect to the probands who reported their mothers as having OCD. These findings suggest that paternal OCD, rather than simply any first-degree relative having OCD, may influence whether probands exhibit the clinical characteristics commonly associated with the familial subtype of OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Familial
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Paternal
  • Subtype


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