Do mothers enhance responsibility in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder? A preliminary study of mother-child interactions during a problem solving discussion

Lara J. Farrell*, Donna Hourigan, Allison M. Waters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Explored observed behaviours during a mother and child problem solving discussion, as well as examining the novel role of enhancement of responsibility in the context of a problem solving task. Methods: Children aged 8 to 12 years, including an OCD sample (n=12) and non-clinical (n=16), and their mothers participated in a five-minute problem solving discussion. Discussions were coded across a range of behavioural dimensions including warmth, autonomy, and confidence and responsibility processes. Results: The groups did not differ on mother or child behavioural dimensions; however, mothers of children with OCD were rated as enhancing their child's responsibility significantly more than their own responsibility, and more than mothers of children with no diagnosis. The solutions generated in the OCD dyads were more likely to implicate the child as being responsible for resolving the situation, compared to the non-clinical group. Conclusions: Tentative support was found for the promotion and enhancement of child responsibility by mothers of children with OCD. Moreover, in line with past research, the overall quality of the interaction in the OCD group was rated as less positive. This paper provides preliminary, novel findings to support a developmental-familial role for the development of inflated responsibility in children with OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Family discussion
  • OCD
  • Responsibility

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