HealthDay News — Tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control in children are associated with the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and smaller dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) volumes in later childhood and adolescence, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Kirsten E. Gilbert, Ph.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues assessed whether an observed indicator of heightened performance monitoring during the preschool age is associated with later onset of OCD and altered dACC volume through adolescence. The sample included 292 children participating in the Preschool Depression Study.

The researchers found that when controlling for demographic and clinical indicators, those who exhibited observed heightened performance monitoring were two times more likely to develop OCD during the next 12 years (odds ratio, 2.00; P = 0.03). Magnetic resonance imaging indicated that heightened performance monitoring was associated with smaller right dACC volume (P = 0.03).

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“Early childhood observed performance monitoring is a readily observed risk factor of OCD that can be identified in preschool-aged children,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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