The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation has awarded a research grant, Ayuda a la investigación en psiquiatría, psicología y/o neurociencias del niño y el adolescente y en neuropediatría, to the project “OCD-Spectrum: Predictive models of disorders related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Spanish adolescents“, whose principal researcher is director of the Center for Applied Psychology and member of the AITANA Research Group of the UMH and the Network for the PROmotion of mental health and EMotional wellbeing in the young (PROEM Network), José Antonio Piqueras, and whose responsible researcher is the Ph.D. Student from the UMH, Beatriz Moreno-Amador.

The work team is also formed by the professor of the UMH, Juan Carlos Marzo, the Ph.D. Students from the UMH Raquel Falcó and Victoria Soto-Sanz, the professor Agustín E. Martínez González from the University of Alicante and the professor Tíscar Rodríguez-Jiménez from the Catholic University San Antonio de Murcia.

The diploma that accredits the aid granted was collected by the Prof. of the UMH on October 25, at the ceremony of Delivery of the Aid to Research Projects 2019 by the president of the Foundation, Ms. Alicia Koplowitz, a act framed in the XIV Scientific Conference of this same Foundation, which was held in the Auditorium Torre de Cristal de la Mutua Madrileña, in Madrid on October 24 and 25.

The funded project aims to examine risk and protective factors for certain disorders related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), such as Trichotillomania and Excoriation Disorder. Both disorders are considered Body Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB), a new nosological entity that has been included in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

According to the research team, the importance of working on these disorders lies in the scarcity of study literature focused on adolescents. These behavioural alterations begin in adolescence and are aggravated by anxiety-depressive symptoms, leading to an associated high disability for those who present it. This is the first study to focus on this symptomatology in Spain.

For it, for approximately 18 months, 1000 adolescents from the province of Alicante and the Region of Murcia will participate providing data on the symptomatology of these disorders, as well as other transdiagnostic variables such as emotional regulation or sensory reactivity. In this way, it is hoped to find results that allow a better understanding of the appearance of this symptomatology, with the ultimate aim of shedding light on the prevention of these disorders, as well as the appearance of comorbid symptomatology. Likewise, the study will investigate the role played by socio-emotional competencies from the CoVitality Model as protective factors for obsessive-compulsive spectrum symptoms.

The study recognized with the help is aligned within the framework of the so-called Precision Medicine, through the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the US National Institute of Mental Health. (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.a.) with the analysis of the role of Domain # 6 “Sensory and motor functioning”; domain whose premise is that sensorimotor systems control the execution of motor actions and improve the understanding of psychopathology.

For more information about these OCD-related disorders, the Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, the research team recommends consulting the website of the American foundation “Tricotillomania Learning Center“, which also has a website in Spanish:

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