This initial study examined the nature, incidence, and clinical correlates of family accommodation in youth with tic disorders, and validated a brief self-report measure of tic-related family accommodation, the Tic Family Accommodation Scale (TFAS). Seventy-five youth aged 6–18 who were diagnosed with a tic disorder and their parent completed a diagnostic clinical interview, and clinician and parent-report measures of tic severity, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, behavioral problems, family accommodation and impairment. An exploratory factor analysis of the TFAS showed a two-factor structure, with good internal consistency for the Total score, Modification of Child Environment and Modification of Parent Environment subscales (α = 0.88, 0.86, and 0.81, respectively). Family accommodation was not associated with tic severity. Family accommodation was associated with increased anxiety and depressive symptoms, higher externalizing, rule breaking, aggressive behaviors and social problems, and with greater tic-related functional impairment. Anxiety and externalizing problems (but not depressive symptoms) predicted family accommodation when controlling for tic severity. Family accommodation predicted high levels of functional impairment over and above the effect of tic severity, anxiety, depression and externalizing problems. Family accommodation is a common phenomenon for youth with tic disorders, with modifications typically encompassing changes to the child and/or parent environments. Accommodation was not associated with tic severity, but was related to higher levels of anxiety, depressive symptoms, externalizing symptoms, aggression, and rule breaking behaviors. Results suggest that other emotional symptoms are more likely to drive accommodation practices than the tic symptoms per se.
- Tourette’s syndrome
- family accommodation