African Americans with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: An Update

Author(s): Monnica Williams, Marlena Debreaux, Matthew Jahn.

Journal Name: Current Psychiatry Reviews

Volume 12 , Issue 2 , 2016


Although considerable strides have been made in understanding, diagnosing, and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), not all groups have benefited from these advances. OCD in ethnic and racial minority groups has been – and continues to be – a neglected area of study. The last 15 years of research has shed new light on OCD in African Americans, with some fascinating findings and new questions to answer. This review describes barriers to treatment, such as low income, reduced access to care, racism, and mental health stigma. Also addressed are cultural differences in symptomology, test and measurement issues, and family factors in the development and maintenance of the disorder. Implications of findings to date are discussed, as well as unstudied areas of concern, such as treatment efficacy and African American youth with OCD.

Keywords: African Americans, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ethnic differences, assessment.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Page: [109 - 114]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1573400512666160602124146

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