Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 November 2014
Trichotillomania (TTM), or hair pulling, in children and adolescents is a heterogeneous disorder requiring a sophisticated approach to each patient. Hair pulling in a young, preschool child may have a different etiology and prognosis than hair pulling in an adolescent. Treatment providers must have a clear understanding of an individual's hair-pulling history, family interactions, and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses. Behavioral strategies are the primary treatment for most children and adolescents, although there may be indications for pharmacotherapy in some individuals. While research in adult TTM has been increasing in recent years, fewer studies have investigated childhood hair pulling. This article will discuss aspects of TTM unique to children and adolescents and will provide a clinical description of childhood hair pullers and treatment strategies.
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