Pediatric trichotillomania

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2012 Jun;14(3):188-96. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0269-8.


Trichotillomania (TTM) is an impulse control disorder characterized by chronic hair-pulling, distress, and impairment. Although the negative effects of TTM are documented and often readily evident, there remains a paucity of psychopathology and treatment research on this disorder, particularly in pediatric populations. In an effort to improve assessment of pediatric TTM, several TTM-specific instruments for youth have now been developed to reliably identify symptoms and examine related phenomenology. Instrument development has now yielded instruments to evaluate TTM and related symptoms in the context of clinical trials of youth, and the first randomized controlled trial of any treatment for pediatric TTM was recently published. Using the initial pediatric TTM studies as building blocks, future research is now needed to create a stronger body of knowledge about the relative and combined efficacy of potential interventions for TTM in youth, as well as to examine the effects of TTM phenomenology and comorbidity on treatment outcome. Dissemination efforts must also be heightened for this knowledge to best reach these vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychotherapy / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Trichotillomania / diagnosis*
  • Trichotillomania / psychology
  • Trichotillomania / therapy


  • Antipsychotic Agents