Relations between impulsivity, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in a non-clinical sample

Michael L. Sulkowski, Cary Jordan, Adam Reid, Paulo A. Graziano, Idit Shalev, Eric A. Storch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Debate exists on the relationships between impulsivity, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Due to the heterogeneity in impulsive symptoms, various symptoms of impulsivity (e.g., pathological gambling, chronic hair pulling) were analyzed to allow for comparisons between impulsive and compulsive symptoms. From this analysis, three distinct impulsivity factors emerged. The first factor consisted of measures of chronic hair pulling and impulsivity (e.g., rash impulsiveness), the second contained measures of impulsivity (e.g., rash impulsiveness) without hair pulling symptoms, and the third factor contained only symptoms of pathological gambling. Secondly, associations between impulsive and compulsive symptoms were explored for males and females in a non-clinical sample of 330 participants. Anxiety symptoms were associated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms for both males and females. However, for males, no differences were found in the strength of associations between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and anxiety or the hair pulling impulsivity factor and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. For females no differences were found in the strength of associations between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and anxiety symptoms or between the impulsivity factor without hair pulling symptoms and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Thus, these results support a clear relationship between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and anxiety but only provide partial support for the association between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Compulsivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive spectrum
  • Obsessive-compulsive symptoms
  • Rash impulsiveness
  • Reward deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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