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Rage attacks in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder: phenomenology and clinical correlates.

OBJECTIVE: Rage attacks have been documented in youth with varied psychiatric disorders, but few data have been reported on the clinical characteristics and correlates of rage attacks among children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

METHOD: Participants were 86 children (ages 6-16 years) with a primary diagnosis of OCD. Patients and their primary caregiver were administered clinician-rated measures of obsessive-compulsive severity and rage severity. Children completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and the Child Sheehan Disability Scale-Child, whereas parents completed the Rage Attacks Questionnaire, Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Irritability Scale, Children's Affective Lability Scale, and Child Sheehan Disability Scale-Parent.

RESULTS: Rage was common among youth with OCD and was associated with varied clinical characteristics. Rage severity accounted for functional impairment beyond the influence of obsessive-compulsive symptom severity; however, these relations were explained by the impact of family accommodation.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that rage attacks are relatively common, have a negative impact on illness presentation, and contribute to functional impairment above and beyond obsessive-compulsive symptom severity. Rage may contribute to family accommodation of symptoms, which may further affect obsessive-compulsive symptom severity and impairment.

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