Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

F. Richard Ferraro


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are often severe and disabling psychiatric conditions. Although BDD is currently regarded as a somatoform disorder in the DSM-IV, it has been suggested that it would be better classified as being part of an obsessive-compulsive spectrum, as it shares many characteristics with OCD in terms of its clinical presentation. Although both disorders have been found to be associated with executive function deficits and other neuropsychological correlates, few studies have compared the two disorders directly in this regard. Further, some research has indicated that OCD symptom dimensions are associated with varying patterns of neuropsychological deficits. The goal of the present study was to assess performance on tasks of executive function, emotional interference, and emotion recognition associated with subclinical OCD symptom dimensions and BDD in 136 university students, with the aim of further clarifying the nosological relationship between the two disorders. A series of multiple regression analyses was used to analyze these relationships. Checking symptoms were found to be a significant predictor of self-reported executive function, hoarding symptoms were a significant predictor of set-shifting, ordering symptoms were a significant predictor of inhibition, and washing symptoms were a significant predictor of emotional interference. BDD symptoms were found to be a significant predictor of memory ability and set-shifting performance. Overall, no consistent pattern of relationships emerged between OCD and BDD