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(p. 232) The Structure, Validity, and Specificity of OCD Symptoms 

(p. 232) The Structure, Validity, and Specificity of OCD Symptoms
(p. 232) The Structure, Validity, and Specificity of OCD Symptoms

David Watson

and Michael W. O’Hara

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date: 12 July 2020

This chapter reviews early attempts to assess obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms, as well as the structural evidence that eventually led to the identification of core, consensual dimensions within the disorder. It then reviews instruments (the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory; the Schedule of Compulsions, Obsessions, and Pathological Impulses; and the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale) that have been developed to assess these core symptom dimensions and discusses the validity (including convergent, discriminant, criterion, and incremental validity) and specificity of the scales included in these measures. Three sets of OCD-related items (representing Cleaning, Checking, and Ordering) marked clear, replicable factors in the IDAS-II scale development samples. Indicators of checking and ordering/rituals produced the most impressive results overall, exhibiting the strongest criterion validity, good diagnostic specificity, and significant incremental validity in logistic regression analyses. Washing/cleaning symptoms also showed good diagnostic specificity, but they displayed more moderate criterion validity.

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