Habitual versus affective motivations in obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcohol use disorder

Gabriela M Ferreira, Rico S.C. Lee, Marcelo Piquet-Pessôa, Gabriela B. de Menezes, Maria E. Moreira-de-Oliveira, Lucy Albertella, Murat Yücel, Marcelo dos Santos Cruz, Samara Dos Santos-Ribeiro, Leonardo F. Fontenelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective.To (1) confirm whether the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale is able to generate a 3-factor solution in a population of obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients; (2) compare these clinical groups in their habit, reward, and fear motivations; and (3) investigate whether homogenous subgroups can be identified to resolve heterogeneity within and across disorders based on the motivations driving ritualistic and drinking behaviors.Methods.One hundred and thirty-four obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 76) or AUD (n = 58) patients were assessed with a battery of scales including the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale, the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, the Alcohol Dependence Scale, the Behavioral Inhibition/Activation System Scale, and the Urgency, (lack of) Premeditation, (lack of) Perseverance, Sensation Seeking, and Positive Urgency Impulsive Behavior Scale.Results.A 3-factor solution reflecting habit, reward, and fear subscores explained 56.6% of the total variance of the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale. Although the habit and fear subscores were significantly higher in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the reward subscores were significantly greater in AUD patients, a cluster analysis identified that the 3 clusters were each characterized by differing proportions of OCD and AUD patients.Conclusions.While affective (reward- A nd fear-driven) and nonaffective (habitual) motivations for repetitive behaviors seem dissociable from each other, it is possible to identify subgroups in a transdiagnostic manner based on motivations that do not match perfectly motivations that usually described in OCD and AUD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • alcohol use disorder.
  • Assessment
  • habit
  • motivations
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

Cite this