Family functioning in pediatric trichotillomania, obsessive compulsive disorder, and healthy comparison youth.Psychiatry Res 2019; 281:112578PR
Pediatric trichotillomania (TTM) is an understudied condition that can be highly impairing; little is known about family environmental features that shape its development and course. We examined family functioning among age and gender-matched groups of youth with primary TTM (n = 30; mean age = 12.87), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD; n = 30; mean age = 12.70), and no psychiatric history (healthy controls; HC; n = 30; mean age = 12.46). An additional group of n = 25 TTM cases was employed to examine relationships between TTM severity and family functioning. All youth completed standardized diagnostic assessment, including the Family Environment Scale (FES) and Children's Report of Parenting Behavior Inventory (CRPBI). Family functioning was more impaired among both TTM and OCD cases relative to controls, as evidenced by higher levels of child-reported FES conflict and lower cohesion, expressiveness, and organization. Less consistent findings emerged on parent report, with cohesion, but not conflict, distinguishing the HC and clinical groups. In keeping with prior research, parents of TTM-affected youth also reported lower expressiveness and cohesion than parents in the OCD group. There was limited evidence for links between hair-pulling severity and family impairment and no links to parenting behavior. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for family focused treatment.