Ethnicity moderates outcome in family focused treatment for pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder

Tara S. Peris, Michelle S. Rozenman, Sunhye Bai, Jocelyn Perez, Hardian Thamrin, John Piacentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined predictors and moderators of treatment outcome in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing two active interventions for pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder that differed with respect to the focus and format of family intervention. We had a particular interest in the role of race/ethnicity in shaping outcomes given our relatively diverse sample composition and the limited prior work in this area. Method: A total of 62 youths (Mean age = 12.71 years; 57 % male; 34 % non-white) were assigned to either a standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) family intervention (ST) or to a tailored intervention designed for cases of OCD complicated by poor family functioning (Enhanced Family Therapy; ET). Treatment in both arms involved 12 sessions of exposure therapy; the family interventions differed. Predictor and moderator variables were chosen based on the extant literature. Results: Minority status did not predict outcome, suggesting that overall, white and non-white youth had comparable treatment response. Race/ethnicity did, however, moderate response with non-white youth faring better in the ET arm of the study. In particular, minority youth in ET had, on average, post-treatment CYBOCS scores consistent with clinical remission whereas their ST counterparts were left with symptoms considered moderately severe. There were no predictors of treatment outcome. Conclusions: Minority status predicts poorer response to standard CBT across disorders, suggesting the need for possible treatment adaptations. The present findings highlight one avenue for matching patients to treatments that might optimize outcomes and underscore the value of family involvement in OCD treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102229
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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