Interpersonal functioning in obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Nicole M. Cain, Emily B. Ansell, H. Blair Simpson, Anthony Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The core symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) often lead to interpersonal difficulties. However, little research has explored interpersonal functioning in OCPD. This study examined interpersonal problems, interpersonal sensitivities, empathy, and systemizing, the drive to analyze and derive underlying rules for systems, in a sample of 25 OCPD individuals, 25 individuals with comorbid OCPD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and 25 healthy controls. We found that OCPD individuals reported hostile-dominant interpersonal problems and sensitivities with warm-dominant behavior by others, whereas OCPD+OCD individuals reported submissive interpersonal problems and sensitivities with warm-submissive behavior by others. Individuals with OCPD, with and without OCD, reported less empathic perspective taking relative to healthy controls. Finally, we found that OCPD males reported a higher drive to analyze and derive rules for systems than OCPD females. Overall, results suggest that there are interpersonal deficits associated with OCPD and the clinical implications of these deficits are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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