Validation of the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Severity Scale in African Americans with OCD

M. Williams, C. Wetterneck, M. Thibodeau and G. Duque


The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) is widely used in the assessment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but the psychometric properties of the instrument have not been examined in African Americans with OCD. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the properties of the Y-BOCS severity scale in this population. Participants were 75 African American adults with a lifetime diagnosis of OCD. They completed the Y-BOCS, the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). Evaluators rated OCD severity using the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) and their global assessment of functioning (GAF). The Y-BOCS was significantly correlated with both the CGI and GAF, indicating convergent validity. It also demonstrated good internal consistency (α=0.83) and divergent validity when compared to the BAI and BDI-II. Confirmatory factor analyses tested five previously reported models and supported a three-factor solution, although no model exhibited excellent fit. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted, supporting a three-factor solution. A linear regression was conducted, predicting CGI from the three factors of the Y-BOCS and the MEIM, and the model was significant. The Y-BOCS appears to be a valid measure for African American populations.


cReference: Psychiatry Research (2013)