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Behavior Therapy


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) includes many symptom presentations, which creates unique diagnostic challenges. Fears surrounding one’s sexual orientation are common within OCD (also called SO-OCD), but SO-OCD is consistently misdiagnosed by physicians and psychologists. To address this issue, we describe the development of a self-report measure for assessing SO-OCD to help distinguish OCD from distress caused by a sexual orientation identity crisis. The current paper details two studies that established the psychometric properties and clinical utility of this measure. In Study 1, the factor structure, validity, and reliability were examined for the measure’s 12 items in a sample of 1,673 university students. The results revealed a two-factor solution for the measure (Factor 1: Transformation Fears; Factor 2: Somatic Checking) and preliminary evidence of validity and reliability. In Study 2, the measure was tested with LGBTQ and heterosexual community samples and clinical samples of individuals with SO-OCD and other types of OCD. The two-factor solution and evidence of validity and reliability were supported in these samples. Cut-off points were established to distinguish between community members and SO-OCD sufferers, as well as between those experiencing SO-OCD and other types of OCD. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


OCD, sexual orientation, scale development, psychometrics, symptom dimensions


This work is an accepted manuscript that is freely available courtesy of Elsevier

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