Archives of Scientific Psychology

This dataset is made available in connection to an article in Archives of Scientific Psychology, the first open-access, open-methods journal of the American Psychological Association (APA). Archiving and dissemination of this research is part of APA's commitment to collaborative data sharing.

Age at Child Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Onset, 2014 (ICPSR 36232)

Principal Investigator(s): Kenyon, Katherine, University of Manitoba; Eaton, Warren, University of Manitoba


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which involves obsessional thoughts and compulsive actions performed in response to those thoughts, is an anxiety disorder that affects many children. An important question is whether early-onset OCD should be viewed as a special type of OCD, one that it has different characteristics than later-onset OCD. If so, individuals with early-onset OCD might respond differently to treatments. Consequently, the age of children at OCD onset was a focus of this study. Past researchers have reported that early age at onset is linked to more severe symptoms and that more males than females have the early-onset type of OCD. As such, we predicted that males would develop the disorder earlier than females and therefore experience more severe OCD symptoms. We used an online survey to recruit parents and caregivers of children with OCD from countries with large English-speaking populations. Girls and boys did not differ significantly in the severity of symptoms, nor was the severity of their symptoms predicted by the age at which their OCD symptoms first appeared. However, poorer family functioning was associated with greater OCD symptom severity. The role of family functioning in child OCD has been little studied, so future research should attend to the relation between family functioning and the development and severity of OCD symptoms in children.

Access Notes

  • This dataset is part of ICPSR's Archives of Scientific Psychology journal database. Users should contact the Editorial Office at the American Psychological Association for information on requesting data access.


No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Kenyon, Katherine, and Warren Eaton. Age at Child Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Onset, 2014. ICPSR36232-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-07-15.

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This study was funded by:

  • Google Ad Grants

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    anxiety, child health, childhood, children, family life, symptoms, treatment

Geographic Coverage:    Global

Time Period:   

  • 2013

Date of Collection:   

  • 2013-01-19--2013-09-05

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Children whose parents reported that they had symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Parents who clicked on a Google text ad about childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Mode of Data Collection:    web-based survey

Presence of Common Scales:    OCD survey items were custom-designed for this survey.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-07-15

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