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The Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS) is the instrument of choice for assessing symptom severity in older children (i.e., 8-18 years) diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The reliability and validity of this measure for use among younger children (i.e., 5-8 years of age), however, has never been examined. The primary aim of this study was to examine this scale's use among those presenting with early childhood OCD. Forty-two children with OCD between the ages of 4 and 8 years of age were recruited as part of a larger treatment outcome study, and the reliability and validity of the CY-BOCS was examined. Results revealed questionable reliability for the measure's 5-item Obsessions subscale but good reliability (i.e., internal consistency, temporal stability) for the 5-item Compulsions subscale and 10-item total scale. Results also revealed that the CY-BOCS total scale demonstrated mixed discriminant validity but strong convergent validity and sensitive to change. Collectively, the 10-item, CY-BOCS total score yields a reliable and valid scale for the assessment of symptom severity in early childhood OCD. However, we urge caution in use of the Obsessions subscale in isolation for either clinical or research purposes. Limitations and future areas of research are discussed including the potential benefit of developing a measure of OCD-related symptom severity specifically for younger children with greater attention to developmental differences among children within this population.
Rhode Island Hospital & Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of abnormal child psychology
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An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, persistent obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are the intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that are experienced as senseless or repugnant. Compulsions are repetitive and seemingly purposeful behavior which the individual generally recognizes as senseless and from which the individual does not derive pleasure although it may provide a release from tension.
A scale comprising 18 symptom constructs chosen to represent relatively independent dimensions of manifest psychopathology. The initial intended use was to provide more efficient assessment of treatment response in clinical psychopharmacology research; however, the scale was readily adapted to other uses. (From Hersen, M. and Bellack, A.S., Dictionary of Behavioral Assessment Techniques, p. 87)
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