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Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder

  • By: Susan M. Swearer & Kisha Kisha Haye
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating disorder characterized by recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions that cause significant impairment in an individual's daily functioning (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). Adults diagnosed with OCD often realize that their obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable; however, children with OCD may not be able make this determination. The individual's obsessions and/or compulsions cause significant distress and can significantly interfere with social, school, and occupational activities, and relationships. Given the intrusive nature of OCD's symptomatology and the distress that the disorder causes, it is imperative that school psychologists are aware of the nature of the disorder and how to accurately diagnose and treat children with OCD.

OCD can occur in children as young as 4 years old (Chansky, 2000), with a ...

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