Obsessive-compulsive symptoms and personal disposition, family coherence and school environment in Chinese adolescents: A resilience approach

Jing Sun, Zhan Jiang Li, Nicholas J. Buys, Eric A. Storch, Ji Sheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background Risk factors of adolescents with obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OC) have been extensively examined, but protective resilience factors have not been explored, particularly in Chinese adolescents. Aim This study aimed to investigate the association of resilience factors with the occurrence of OC and its symptoms in Chinese adolescents. Method This study consisted of two phases. The first phase used a cross-sectional design involving a stratified clustered non-clinical sample of 3185 secondary school students. A clinical interview procedure was then employed to diagnose OC in students who had a Leyton Obsessional Inventory 'yes' score of ≥15. The second phase used a case-control study design to analyse the relationship between resilience factors and OC in a matched sample of 288 adolescents with diagnosed OC relative to 246 healthy adolescents. Results Low personal disposition scores in self-fulfilment, flexibility and self-esteem, and low peer relation scores in the school environment were associated with a higher probability of having OC. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that OC symptoms were significantly associated with personal dispositions, poor peer relationships and maladaptive social life, but not to family coherence. Limitations The study is not prospective in nature, so the causal relationship between OC occurrence and resilience factors cannot be confirmed. Second, the use of self-report instruments in personal disposition, family coherence, and school environment may be a source of error. Conclusions Resilience factors at both the personal disposition and school environment levels are important predictors of OC symptoms and caseness. Future studies using prospective designs are needed to confirm these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014


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