Sex and psychiatric comorbidity correlates of the premonitory urge for tic scale in youth with persistent tic disorders Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The premonitory urge for tics scale (PUTS) is a common self-report measure of premonitory sensations preceding tics. The present study aimed to examine the internal consistency and concurrent validity of the PUTS by sex and psychiatric comorbidity status; and explored interactions between sex and psychiatric comorbidity in predicting premonitory urge and tic symptom severity. Seventy-four youth and young adults with persistent tic disorders completed the PUTS, while their parents completed the parent tic questionnaire (PTQ) and a demographic measure. Independent samples t-tests revealed no significant sex differences in PUTS items or total score. The PUTS total score also did not significantly differ between participants with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) comorbidity. Internal consistency did not significantly differ between females (α = 0.85) and males (α = 0.75), and those with comorbid ADHD and/or OCD (α = 0.83) relative to those without (α = 0.69). With respect to concurrent validity, the PUTS total was significantly correlated with PTQ tic frequency, intensity, number, and severity for males but not for females. Among those with ADHD and/or OCD, the PUTS total score was correlated significantly and strongly with tic number and moderately with tic intensity. Interactions between sex and psychiatric comorbidity performed using 2 × 2 analysis of variance did not significantly predict the PUTS total or PTQ subscale scores. Findings suggest sex and comorbidity status may influence premonitory urge expression. Results have implications for understanding and measurement of the premonitory urge.


  • Edwards, Kim
  • Raines, JM
  • Winnick, JB
  • Sherman, MF
  • Higginson, CI
  • Navin, K
  • Conteh, F
  • Ricketts, EJ
  • Specht, MW

publication date

  • June 2020