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Title: Different for Dads? : the association between paternal OCD, parenting and child functioning
Author: Chilvers, Rebecca
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis aims to add to the literature on psychological factors in the development of OCD and the impact of paternal OCD on children. It is concerned with examining parenting style and behaviours in fathers with OCD as a potential route to OCD 'transmission' and psychological distress in their children as well as examining the perceived impact of having OCD on parenting. It follows from a preliminary study by Challacombe & Salkovskis (2009) examining these factors in mothers with OCD. Fathers have received little attention in psychological research, yet emerging evidence suggests their role in child rearing and effect on children in the case of psychological disorder may be different to that of the mother. 14 fathers with OCD were compared to 20 healthy control fathers. Perception of impact of OCD on parenting was ascertained by questionnaires given to fathers and mothers. Measures of general parenting behaviours and parenting in OCD-specific scenarios, involvement in parenting and levels of expressed emotion (ascertained using a speech sample) were compared to control fathers. Parents also completed questionnaires on their child's general well being, and children completed questionnaires measuring anxiety and OCD related symptoms. Findings revealed that fathers viewed OCD as having a significant impact on their parenting, to a greater degree than mothers. Fathers' perception of impact was unrelated to self-reported OCD severity. Although thematic analysis of speech samples revealed fathers' concern about the effect on their children, their offspring showed no elevated rate of OCD symptomatology. However they showed lower social and school competence, greater social problems, significantly increased internalising problems and increased anxiety, including separation anxiety and panic. Whilst fathers with OCD showed higher rates of expressed emotion, there were no differences in general or specific parenting behaviours, nor clear associations between aspects of parenting and child functioning. Findings are discussed in the context of social learning theory and the role of the father in facilitating social exploration and development. Clinical implications are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available