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ABSTRACT Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has negative impacts on affected preadolescent children; however, little is known about parents’ experiences of parenting a preadolescent child with OCD, and limited provision exists to help parents to support their children. This study aimed to explore parents’ experiences of parenting a preadolescent child with OCD using semi-structured, qualitative interviews to inform the development of such provision. Twenty-two parents (15 mothers; 7 fathers) of 16 children (7- to 14-years-old) who had experienced OCD were interviewed. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to generate two overarching themes: (1) challenge and frustration, and (2) helplessness, and five themes: (1) the journey to understanding and coming to terms with OCD, (2) the battle for support, (3) navigating how to respond to OCD, (4) OCD is in control, and (5) the emotional turmoil of parenting a preadolescent child with OCD. The need for clear, accessible, and scalable support for parents of preadolescent children with OCD was identified.

Original publication




Journal article


Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Publication Date