Neuropsychological characteristics of nonclinical obsessive-compulsives
Moland, Michael Robert
Master of Arts
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Neuropsychological functioning was examined in 118 introductory psychology students (males=43, females=75) who reported varying levels of nonclinical obsessive-compulsive behaviours. Using the four subscales of the Padua Inventory, five groups of students were identified: (1) High Obsessive- Compulsives (N=22); (2) Low Obsessive-Compulsives (N=23); (3) High Compulsives (N=24); (4) High Obsessives (N=25); and (5) Normal Scorers (N=24). It was assumed that students reporting nonclinical obsessivecompulsive behaviour would demonstrate visual spatial deficits that were similar to what has been reported in recent research on obsessive-compulsive patients. A visual spatial memory deficit involving the organization and recall of sequences was identified in the high compulsive group compared to the normal and high obsessive scorers. This finding could not be explained by group differences in depression, anxiety, or intelligence. Failure to find any group differences in verbal memory indicative of left-hemisphere functioning implies that the deficit seen in compulsives may reflect right-hemisphere impairment. Gender differences in verbal and visual spatial tasks was observed. The findings are congruent with recent neuropsychological research on clinical obsessive-compulsives and nonclinical compulsive ’checkers’.