Are children with obsessive-compulsive disorder at risk for problematic peer relationships?

Tania Borda, Brian A. Feinstein, Fugen Neziroglu*, Teresa Veccia, Ricardo Perez-Rivera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The current study examined social functioning and peer relationships among pre-adolescent children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a non-psychiatric control group. The sample included 23 children with a primary diagnosis of OCD and 30 children with no psychiatric disorders. All children were diagnosed using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule-Child Version (ADIS-CV) and assessed on social functioning (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory - Child Report), fear of negative evaluation (Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale), peer victimization, bullying behavior, and pro-social behavior (Peer Relations Questionnaire), and several aspects of their friendships (ADIS-CV Interpersonal Relationships). Children with OCD were also assessed on symptom severity (Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Severity Ratings). Children with OCD reported significantly worse social functioning, more fear of negative evaluation, more peer victimization, less bullying behavior, and less pro-social behavior compared to controls. Additionally, children with OCD were significantly more likely than controls to endorse difficulties in peer relationships, including having fewer friends than most kids, wanting more friends, and having trouble making friends. Findings suggest that OCD interferes with social functioning among pre-adolescent children. Parents and teachers are encouraged to facilitate social interactions for children with OCD, and treatment providers are encouraged to attend to peer difficulties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Children
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Peer relationships
  • Social functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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