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Hierarchical structural models of psychopathology rarely extend to obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. The current study sought to examine the higher-order structure of the obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRDs) in DSM-5: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding disorder (HD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder; HPD) and excoriation (skin-picking) disorder (SPD).
Adult patients in a partial hospital program (N = 532) completed a dimensional measure of the five OCRDs. We used confirmatory factor analysis to identify the optimal model of the comorbidity structure. We then examined the associations between the transdiagnostic factors and internalizing and externalizing symptoms (i.e. depression, generalized anxiety, neuroticism, and drug/alcohol cravings).
The best fitting model included two correlated higher-order factors: an obsessions-compulsions (OC) factor (OCD, BDD, and HD), and a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) factor (HPD and SPD). The OC factor, not the BFRB factor, had unique associations with internalizing symptoms (standardized effects = 0.42–0.66) and the BFRB factor, not the OC factor, had small marginally significant unique association with drug/alcohol cravings (standardized effect = 0.22, p = 0.088).
The results mirror findings from twin research and indicate that OCD, BDD, and HD share liability that is significantly associated with internalizing symptoms, but this liability may be relatively less important for BFRBs. Further research is needed to better examine the associations between BFRBs and addictive disorders.
Involuntary mental imagery is elevated among people with bipolar disorder, and has been shown to shape biases in interpretation of ambiguous information. However, it is not clear whether biases in interpretation of ambiguous scenarios can be observed in those at risk for bipolar disorder, or whether involuntary imagery is related to such a bias.
In the present study, we extended a prominent model of bipolar cognition to an at-risk sample. We specifically tested whether positive interpretation bias and involuntary mental imagery are linked to a greater risk of bipolar disorder.
Young adults (N = 169) completed measures of risk for bipolar disorder (the Hypomanic Personality Scale [HPS]), interpretation bias, and involuntary mental imagery.
Higher scores on the HPS were significantly correlated with more positive interpretations of ambiguous scenarios (β = 0.29, p <. 01) and more frequent involuntary mental imagery (β = 0.22, p < .01). There was no evidence of an interaction between interpretation bias and mental imagery in predicting HPS score, β = .04, p = .62.
Further research is warranted to determine if intrusive imagery or interpretation bias influence the development of bipolar disorder over time in those at risk.