Investigating executive functions in youth with OCD and hoarding symptoms Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Executive functions (EF) deficits are hypothesized to be a core contributor to hoarding symptoms. EF have been studied in adult hoarding populations, but studies in youth are lacking. The current study compared multiple EF subdomains between youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and youth with OCD and hoarding symptoms. Forty youth (8–18 years old) with a primary diagnosis of OCD were recruited. Participants were divided by hoarding severity on the Child Saving Inventory (CSI) into either the “hoarding group” (upper 33.3%) or the “low-hoarding group” (lower 66.7%). Groups were compared on EF tasks of cognitive flexibility, decision-making, and inhibitory control. Youth in the hoarding group exhibited significantly higher cognitive flexibility and lowered perseveration than the low-hoarding group. Hoarding and low-hoarding groups did not differ in any other EF subdomain. Hoarding symptoms in youth with OCD were not associated with deficits in EF subdomains; instead, youth who hoard exhibited higher cognitive flexibility compared to youth with low hoarding symptoms.

publication date

  • December 2021