Separation anxiety disorder in OCD.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Samuels JF
Author List: 
Mroczkowski MM
Goes FS
Riddle MA
Grados MA
Bienvenu OJ 3rd
Greenberg BD
Fyer AJ
McCracken JT
Rauch SL
Murphy DL
Knowles JA
Piacentini J
Cullen B
Rasmussen SA
Geller DA
Pauls DL
Liang KY
Nestadt G
Samuels JF
Depress Anxiety
PubMed ID: 
A history of separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is frequently reported by patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The purpose of this study was to determine if there are clinical differences between OCD-affected individuals with, versus without, a history of SAD.Using data collected during the OCD Collaborative Genetic Study, we studied 470 adult OCD participants; 80 had a history of SAD, whereas 390 did not. These two groups were compared as to onset and severity of OCD, lifetime prevalence of Axis I disorders, and number of personality disorder traits.OCD participants with a history of SAD were significantly younger than the non-SAD group (mean, 34.2 versus 42.2 years; P<.001). They had an earlier age of onset of OCD symptoms (mean, 8.0 versus 10.5 years; P<.003) and more severe OCD, as measured by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (mean, 27.5 versus 25.0; P<.005). In addition, those with a history of SAD had a significantly greater lifetime prevalence of agoraphobia (odds ratio (OR) = 2.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4-4.6, P<.003), panic disorder (OR = 1.84, CI = 1.03-3.3 P<.04), social phobia (OR = 1.69, CI 1.01-2.8, P<.048), after adjusting for age at interview, age at onset of OCD, and OCD severity in logistic regression models. There was a strong relationship between the number of dependent personality disorder traits and SAD (adjusted OR = 1.42, CI = 1.2-1.6, P<.001).A history of SAD is associated with anxiety disorders and dependent personality disorder traits in individuals with OCD.
Published Date: 
March, 2011

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.