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Explicating the Dispositional Basis of the OCRDs: a Hierarchical Perspective

  • David Watson
  • Sara M. Stasik-O’Brien
  • Stephanie Ellickson-Larew
  • Kasey Stanton
Article

Abstract

We examined the dispositional component of the obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRDs) in a large adult sample. Our battery included two hierarchical measures of personality, which allowed us to examine relations with both higher-order domains and lower-order facets of the five-factor model. In addition, our study included multiple indicators of each OCRD, which enabled us to model them as latent factors. Principal factor analyses of these indicators revealed six dimensions: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Hoarding, Excoriation, Body Dissatisfaction, Trichotillomania, and Body Preoccupation. Body Dissatisfaction, OCD, and Hoarding showed the strongest links to personality, with the other symptoms displaying more moderate associations. Neuroticism was the strongest and broadest predictor of the OCRDs at the domain level, exhibiting significant positive relations with every symptom dimension except Body Preoccupation in both bivariate and multivariate analyses. Conscientiousness showed negative associations with Body Dissatisfaction and Hoarding, and was positively related to Body Preoccupation. Finally, openness was negatively linked to OCD at both the bivariate and multivariate level. In comparison to domain-level analyses, the lower-order facets jointly contributed an additional 11.8% (Excoriation) to 17.6% (OCD) of the criterion variance, with a mean increment of 14.2%. Three neuroticism facets—anger, self-consciousness, and impulsiveness—displayed robust positive associations with two or more OCRD symptom factors, but no lower-order trait contributed significantly in every analysis. Overall, our results indicate that—similar to most other forms of psychopathology—OCRD symptoms have a common component of elevated neuroticism.

Keywords

Hierarchical models of personality Five-factor model of personality Factor analysis Obsessive-compulsive disorder Hoarding Body dysmorphic disorder Trichotillomania Excoriation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Lee Anna Clark, Patrick Cruitt, Mark Godding, Haley Heibel, Ana Hernandez, Brittany Katz, Katie Kraemer, Mallory Meter, John Souter, Nadia Suzuki, and Elizabeth Yahiro for their help in the preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

David Watson, Sara M. Stasik-O'Brien, Stephanie Ellickson-Larew, Kasey Stanton declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Experiment Participants

All procedures performed in the reported study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committees and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Ethical Approval

All of the research reported here was approved by the University of Notre Dame Institutional Review Board.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  2. 2.Knox CollegeGalesburgUSA

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