Encyclopedia of Adolescence

2011 Edition
| Editors: Roger J. R. Levesque

Tic, Tourettes, and Related Disorders

  • Christine A. ConeleaEmail author
  • Shana A. Franklin
  • Douglas W. Woods
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_389


Tic disorders, including Tourette Syndrome, are characterized by the presence of motor and/or vocal tics. Habit disorders, otherwise known as body-focused repetitive behaviors, most commonly include hair pulling (Trichotillomania), skin picking, and nail biting. Tics are more colloquially referred to as “twitches” or “spasms” and repetitive behaviors may be more commonly known as “nervous habits” or “fidgeting”. Tic disorders and habit disorders are both fairly prevalent among adolescents and can be associated with distress and impairment. This essay provides a description of these disorders, including their diagnosis and assessment. The populations generally studied in the tic and habit disorder literature are described, and current gaps in understanding of these disorders are highlighted.

Description of Disorders

Tic Disorders

Tics are sudden, rapid, recurrent vocalizations or motor movements (American Psychiatric Association [APA] 2000). Tics can range from simple...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine A. Conelea
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shana A. Franklin
    • 1
  • Douglas W. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA