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How to Manage Family Accommodation in Child Anxiety and OCD

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Burgeoning research has highlighted the importance of family accommodation in obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders. Family accommodation is considered a key factor impacting childhood OCD, implicated in its course, severity, impairment, and treatment response. Family accommodation of childhood OCD refers to changes that parents make in their own behavior to help their child avoid or alleviate distress related to the disorder.

Research in recent years has led to significant advances in understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of family accommodation, and to the development of efficacious parent-based interventions aimed at reducing family accommodation.

This presentation will review the key data relevant to family accommodation of childhood OCD, including its prevalence and common forms, and will introduce The SPACE Program, a parent-based intervention that reduces children’s symptoms by replacing family accommodation with supportive parental responses. Supportive responses acknowledge the child’s distress while also conveying confidence in a child’s ability to cope with and tolerate distress. 

Learning Objectives

1. Describe a minimum of three common forms of family accommodation of childhood OCD. 
2. Assess family accommodation using child-rated and parent-rated measures.
3. Design and implement a plan for reduction in parental family accommodation for different forms of OCD.