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Jackson, M. Solms, M. (2013). Separation Distress in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(2):117-125.

(2013). Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(2):117-125

Original Articles

Separation Distress in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Michelle Jackson and Mark Solms

Four iterative studies tested the hypothesis that separation distress is a significant component of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Separation distress and separation trauma were measured in nonclinical undergraduate university participants who scored at the high end of the spectrum of obsessionality and low mood; in patients clinically diagnosed with OCD and major depression disorder (MDD); and in control groups. The Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire, Padua Inventory, Major Depression Inventory, and Positive and Negative Affect Scales were used to distribute participants on spectrums of obsessionality and low mood (Studies 1 and 2) and classify them in terms of clinical OCD and MDD (Study 3). Participants were evaluated on measures of separation distress, using the Separation Anxiety Symptom Inventory, the Structured Clinical Interview for Separation Anxiety Symptoms, the Adult Separation Anxiety Checklist, and the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales. To measure separation trauma, participants were asked to indicate whether they had been physically separated from their primary caregiver during specific time frames based on widely established work. Analyses confirmed that separation distress is strongly implicated in both OCD and MDD and that it accounts for the well-established comorbidity of these disorders. Chi-square contingency analysis indicated that OCD and/or MDD in adulthood are contingent upon early separation trauma.

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