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Compulsivity is measurable across distinct psychiatric symptom domains and is associated with familial risk and reward-related attentional capture

  • Lucy Albertella (a1), Samuel R. Chamberlain (a2) (a3), Mike E. Le Pelley (a4), Lisa-Marie Greenwood (a1) (a5) (a6), Rico S.C. Lee (a1), Lauren Den Ouden (a1), Rebecca A. Segrave (a1), Jon E. Grant (a7) and Murat Yücel (a1)...

Abstract

Background.

Compulsivity can be seen across various mental health conditions and refers to a tendency toward repetitive habitual acts that are persistent and functionally impairing. Compulsivity involves dysfunctional reward-related circuitry and is thought to be significantly heritable. Despite this, its measurement from a transdiagnostic perspective has received only scant research attention. Here we examine both the psychometric properties of a recently developed compulsivity scale, as well as its relationship with compulsive symptoms, familial risk, and reward-related attentional capture.

Methods.

Two-hundred and sixty individuals participated in the study (mean age = 36.0 [SD = 10.8] years; 60.0% male) and completed the Cambridge-Chicago Compulsivity Trait Scale (CHI-T), along with measures of psychiatric symptoms and family history thereof. Participants also completed a task designed to measure reward-related attentional capture (n = 177).

Results.

CHI-T total scores had a normal distribution and acceptable Cronbach’s alpha (0.84). CHI-T total scores correlated significantly and positively (all p < 0.05, Bonferroni corrected) with Problematic Usage of the Internet, disordered gambling, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, alcohol misuse, and disordered eating. The scale was correlated significantly with history of addiction and obsessive-compulsive related disorders in first-degree relatives of participants and greater reward-related attentional capture.

Conclusions.

These findings suggest that the CHI-T is suitable for use in online studies and constitutes a transdiagnostic marker for a range of compulsive symptoms, their familial loading, and related cognitive markers. Future work should more extensively investigate the scale in normative and clinical cohorts, and the role of value-modulated attentional capture across compulsive disorders.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Dr Lucy Albertella, Email: lucy.albertella@monash.edu
*Dr Samuel Chamberlain, Email: src33@cam.ac.uk
Jon E. Grant and Murat Yücel are joint senior authors

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Compulsivity is measurable across distinct psychiatric symptom domains and is associated with familial risk and reward-related attentional capture

  • Lucy Albertella (a1), Samuel R. Chamberlain (a2) (a3), Mike E. Le Pelley (a4), Lisa-Marie Greenwood (a1) (a5) (a6), Rico S.C. Lee (a1), Lauren Den Ouden (a1), Rebecca A. Segrave (a1), Jon E. Grant (a7) and Murat Yücel (a1)...

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