Reexamination of the relationship between birth order and obsessive-compulsive disorder

C. A. Pollard, R. L. Wiener, W. T. Merkel, C. Enseley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In order to examine the hypothesis that being a firstborn or only child is specifically associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the birth order positions and sibship sizes of 62 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder were compared with those of 60 agoraphobic and 92 depressed patients. No significant group differences were found for men, women, or both sexes combined. Results conflict with earlier findings which supported the hypothesized relationship between birth order status and development of obsessive-compulsive patterns in men. In addition to possible differences in methodology, discrepancies between the present findings and those of earlier studies may reflect a decline over the past 20 years in the percentage of male obsessive compulsives that were either firstborn or only children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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