The clinical presentation of major depressive disorder in youth with co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder

Emily Strouphauer, Carlos Valenzuela-Flores, Abu Minhajuddin, Holli Slater, David B. Riddle, Caitlin M. Pinciotti, Andrew G. Guzick, John M. Hettema, Silvina Tonarelli, Cesar A. Soutullo, Joshua S. Elmore, Kimberly Gushanas, Sarah Wakefield, Wayne K. Goodman, Madhukar H. Trivedi, Eric A. Storch, Matti Cervin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is common in youth and among the most frequent comorbid disorders in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but it is unclear whether the presence of OCD affects the symptom presentation of MDD in youth. Methods: A sample of youth with OCD and MDD (n = 124) and a sample of youth with MDD but no OCD (n = 673) completed the Patient Health Questionnaire for Adolescents (PHQ-A). The overall and symptom-level presentation of MDD were examined using group comparisons and network analysis. Results: Youth with MDD and OCD, compared to those with MDD and no OCD, had more severe MDD (Cohen's d = 0.39) and more reported moderate to severe depression (75 % vs 61 %). When accounting for demographic variables and the overall severity of MDD, those with comorbid OCD reported lower levels of anhedonia and more severe difficulties with psychomotor retardation/agitation. No significant differences in the interconnections among symptoms emerged. Limitations: Data were cross-sectional and self-reported, gold standard diagnostic tools were not used to assess OCD, and the sample size for the group with MDD and OCD was relatively small yielding low statistical power for network analysis. Conclusions: Youth with MDD and OCD have more severe MDD than those with MDD and no OCD and they experience more psychomotor issues and less anhedonia, which may relate to the behavioral activation characteristic of OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • Texas Youth Depression and Suicide Research Network (TX-YDSRN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The clinical presentation of major depressive disorder in youth with co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this