Obsessive-compulsive symptoms and obsessive-compulsive disorder: A multiracial/ethnic analysis of a student population

Christi S. Washington, Peter J. Norton, Samuel Temple

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and the Padua Inventory Washington State University Revision are commonly used measures of obsessive-compulsive disorder. They have been shown to be reliable and valid with both clinical and nonclinical samples. However, their psychometrics have primarily been assessed using homogenous white samples. This is a concern because while some studies of anxiety measures among multiple racial and ethnic groups suggest equivalence (e.g., Norton, J Anxiety Dis. 2005;19:699 -707), others report significant racial/ethnic differences and unequal predictive validity (e.g., Thomas et al., Assessment. 2000;7:247-258). This study examined 2 measures of obsessivecompulsive symptoms using a large sample of African American, white, Hispanic/Latino, Southeast Asian, and South Asian/East Indian students. Preliminary analyses indicated that Southeast and South Asian/East Indian participants reported significantly more symptoms on the Padua Inventory Washington State University Revision, although only South Asian/East Indian participants also reported a correspondingly higher rate of interference and distress associated with their symptoms. Comparable psychometric estimates were observed across all groups. Differences by race/ethnicity are discussed regarding potential variables that may act as moderators or mediators in addition to clinical and research implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural assessment
  • OCD
  • Psychometrics

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