Personality traits in subclinical and non-obsessive-compulsive volunteers and their parents

Behav Res Ther. 1994 Jan;32(1):47-56. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(94)90083-3.


Theorists from a variety of perspectives have asserted that obsessive compulsives are more risk-aversive, perfectionistic and guilt-ridden than non-obsessive compulsives, and that these characteristics are central features of the disorder. Furthermore, several have hypothesized that the parents of obsessive compulsives are characterized by risk-aversion, perfectionism, and high levels of criticism. Little research exists which corroborates these hypotheses, however. The present investigation examined these hypotheses among subclinical obsessive compulsives. In two different samples, subclinical obsessive compulsives were found to be more risk-aversive, perfectionistic, and guilt-ridden. Subclinical obsessive compulsives also perceived their parents to be more overprotective. The findings regarding other parental traits were less clear. There was some support for the hypothesis that the parents of subclinical obsessive compulsives are more risk-aversive, and that fathers are more critical and perfectionistic.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality*
  • Risk-Taking