Trichotillomania and pathologic skin picking are pathologic versions of grooming behaviors. Although mentioned in the psychiatric literature for decades, little is known about how gender influences clinical presentation of these behaviors. Seventy-seven adult subjects (12 men) with trichotillomania or pathologic skin picking were examined on a variety of clinical measures including symptom severity, functioning, and comorbidity. There were more similarities than differences between men and women with these behaviors. Some significant differences, however, were that men with grooming disorders had a later age of onset of the behaviors, had greater functional impairment due to the behaviors, and were more likely to suffer from a co-occurring anxiety disorder. This study suggests that gender may be an important clinical factor when assessing and treating these disorders. Further research is needed to validate our findings and identify whether treatments should be specially tailored differently for men and women with grooming disorders.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 22, 2007
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