A Preliminary Study on the Effects of Attachment‑based Intervention on Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Shiva Rezvan, Fatemeh Bahrami, Mohamadreza Abedi, Colin Macleod, Hamid Taher Neshatdoost, Vahid Ghasemi


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of attachment‑based intervention in a pediatric sample with obsessive‑compulsive disorder (OCD).

Methods: Twelve participants, 10-12 years of age, were treated across an eight‑week period. They had not been treated with either pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy previously and remained medication‑free during the attachment‑based therapy. This study comprised two groups of children: The experimental group, who received attachment‑based intervention, and the control group, who did not receive treatment. All participants were assessed in terms of severity of OCD symptoms by administrating the Children’s Yale‑Brown Obsessive‑Compulsive Scale before and after the experimental group had received the therapeutic sessions. The children were assessed again one month later. The level of children’s depression, and attachment insecurity, as well as their mothers’ depression, OCD symptoms, and attachment insecurity, were statistically controlled in this study.

Results: Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) indicated that the OCD symptoms in children decreased significantly over the course of the therapy, and this gain was maintained at follow‑up. The results of this study demonstrated that the attachment‑based intervention was efficacious in alleviating the OCD symptoms.

Conclusion: It is suggested that parental instruction in attachment‑based relationships may help prevent young children from developing OCD symptoms in middle‑childhood and adulthood.

Keywords: Attachment‑based intervention, child, obsessive‑compulsive disorder, pediatrics

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