Development of a scale to assess obsessive-compulsive tendencies among Japanese university students

Kenta Sashikata, Eiji Ozawa

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Obsessive-compulsive (OC) tendencies refer to obsessions and compulsions in a nonclinical group, which are risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OC tendencies and OC symptoms are mainly assessed using five factors: ordering, obsessions, cleaning, hoarding, and checking. However, since hoarding is now classified as an independent diagnosis in the DSM-V, this factor was not included and was instead replaced by indecisiveness. Furthermore, many established scales used for measuring OC tendencies were originally created for OCD patients; thus, they cannot adequately capture OC tendencies. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a scale to assess OC tendencies among Japanese university students with a revised five-factor structure: ordering, obsessions, cleaning, indecisiveness, and checking. We examined the factor structure, reliability, criterion-related validity, and convergent validity of the OC tendencies scale by administering two surveys. In Survey 1 (N = 216), an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to examine the criterion-related and convergent validity and reliability of the OC tendencies scale. In Survey 2 (N = 202), a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted. EFA and CFA utilized a five-factor structure comprising checking, ordering, indecisiveness, cleaning, and obsessions. Correlations with other scales indicated that the OC tendencies scale had efficient convergent validity, criterion-related validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability. This study validated the five-factor structure of OC tendency in Japanese university students. However, indecisiveness was also strongly correlated with trait-anxiety. As this scale is easy to administer among large groups, it has the potential to contribute to mental health support for university students by measuring OC tendencies experienced on a daily basis, which have not been adequately measured in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere09646
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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