Tourette syndrome-associated psychopathology: Roles of comorbid attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder

Yehuda Pollak*, Fortu Benarroch, Liana Kanengisser, Yuval Shilon, Hilla Benpazi, Ruth S. Shalev, Varda Gross-Tsur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) often display comorbid symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as externalizing and internalizing behaviors. This study was aimed to examine the impacts of tic severity, ADHD symptoms, and OCD on internalizing (e.g., anxiety) and externalizing (e.g., aggression) psychopathology. Methods: Using linear regressions, we examined how tics, ADHD, and OCD symptoms predicted the externalization and internalization behaviors measured by the Child Behavior Checklist in a clinical sample of children and adolescents with TS. In addition, Child Behavior Checklist scales were compared among children with TS without ADHD, TS and ADHD, ADHD without TS, and unaffected control group. Results: In the TS group, externalizing behaviors were predicted by tic severity, inattention, and hyperactivity/impulsivity but not by OCD symptoms, whereas internalizing behaviors were predicted by inattention and OCD symptoms but not by tic severity or hyperactivity/ impulsivity. Comparison among different clinical groups revealed main effects of TS and ADHD on both externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Conclusion: These findings suggest that tics, ADHD, and OCD symptoms differentially explain the variance in externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems in individuals with TS. In addition, the data support the notion that TS is itself a risk factor for behavioral problems, mandating that children with TS even without ADHD and OCD still need to be assessed and treated for psychopathology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Externalizing and internalizing behaviors
  • Obsessivecompulsive disorder
  • Tourette syndrome

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