Phenomenology and correlates of insight in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

Eric A. Storch, Alessandro S. De Nadai, Marni L. Jacob, Adam B. Lewin, Jordana Muroff, Jane Eisen, Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Daniel A. Geller, Tanya K. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is marked by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions that cause significant interference in an individual's life. Insight regarding symptoms in youth with OCD may affect accurate assessment, acceptance and motivation for treatment, tolerance of negative valence states (i.e., fear) and treatment outcome, so assessment of this construct and associated clinical characteristics is important. Accordingly, the current study sought to expand the literature on symptom insight by examining multi-informant ratings of insight from children, parents, and clinicians simultaneously and its relationship to varied clinical characteristics. One-hundred and ten treatment-seeking youth with a primary diagnosis of OCD, aged 6-17, participated in the study along with a parent/guardian. The nature of symptom conviction, fixity of ideas, and perceptions about the cause of the problems were important indicators in assessing child insight and resulted in a comprehensive, psychometrically-sound measure of insight. Insight was generally not strongly associated with clinical characteristics. Poor insight was moderately associated with less resistance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, increased externalizing symptoms, and ordering symptoms. Overall, this study contributes further information into the nature and correlates of insight in youth with OCD, and provides a psychometrically sound approach for its assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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