Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

First Advisor

Danielle J. Maack

Second Advisor

Laura J. Dixon


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Research findings suggest that emotion regulation (ER) is a key component in the maintenance and development of psychopathology. However there is a paucity of research assessing ER and Obsessive-Compulsive (OC) symptoms particularly how ER relates to OC tendencies in children. Due to the pervasive nature of both ER difficulties and OC symptoms across major life domains (i.e. familial social academic) and the lasting impact of these problems into adulthood further research is needed to better understand this connection. The present study investigated this relation in a clinical sample of 472 youth (ages 10 – 17) who completed a packet of self-report measures as a part of the intake process at a psychiatric facility in Mississippi. This study hypothesized the following: 1) Greater ER difficulties would predict pediatric OC symptoms holding demographic variables constant 2) Replicating previous research gender differences would be seen with experience of ER difficulties and OC symptoms such that girls would be more likely to demonstrate poor ER and boys would experience more OC symptoms than their counterparts and 3) Gender would moderate the effects of ER on OC symptoms. Correlational analyses indicated that age and OC symptoms (r = -.21 p < .001) as well as gender and ER difficulties (r = -.27 p < .001) were significantly correlated respectively. ER difficulties were also significantly correlated to OC symptoms (r = .10 p < .001). Following hierarchical regression age but not gender was significantly predictive of OC symptoms. As hypothesized ER difficulties were also predictive of OC symptoms when age and gender were held constant contributing to 9.8% of the variance. Additionally a moderation analysis indicated that gender moderated the effects of ER difficulties (p < .05) contributing 1% of the variance to the overall model. These findings lend support to ER as a transdiagnostic factor contributing to the experience of pediatric OC symptoms in a clinical population especially among girls. Future research should continue the investigation of factors influencing the onset maintenance and severity of pediatric OC symptoms including transdiagnostic treatment targets which may lead to improved assessment early intervention and enhanced treatment outcomes of OCD.


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