Objective Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition with well-established symptom dimensions across the lifespan. The objective of the present study was to use network analysis to investigate the internal structure and central features of these dimensions in unselected schoolchildren and in children with OCD. Method We estimated the network structure of OCD symptom dimensions in 6,991 schoolchildren and 704 children diagnosed with OCD from 18 sites across 6 countries. All participants completed the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory−Child Version. Results In both the school-based and clinic-based samples, the OCD dimensions formed an interconnected network with doubting/checking emerging as a highly central node, that is, exerting strong influence over other symptom dimensions in the network. The centrality of the doubting/checking dimension was consistent across countries, sexes, age groups, clinical status, and tic disorder comorbidity. Network differences were observed for age and sex in the school-based but not the clinic-based samples. Conclusion The centrality of doubting/checking in the network structure of childhood OCD adds to classic and recent conceptualizations of the disorder in which the important role of doubt in disorder severity and maintenance is highlighted. The present results suggest that doubting/checking is a potentially important target for further research into the etiology and treatment of childhood OCD.
Cervin, M., Perrin, S., Olsson, E., Aspvall, K., Geller, D.A., Wilhelm, S., et al. (2019). The Centrality of Doubting and Checking in the Network Structure of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom Dimensions in Youth. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY [10.1016/j.jaac.2019.06.018].