Identification of trichotillomania cue profiles

Gary A. Christenson, Stephen L. Ristvedt, Thomas B. Mackenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


To explore the usefulness of emotional and environmental cues in distinguishing different patterns and potential subtypes of hair pulling in trichotillomania, we looked at the responses of 75 chronic hair pullers who had identified relevant cues for hair pulling from a 339 item list. Principal components analysis suggested two independent components which were important to hair pulling, one distinguished by negative affective states (NA), and the other by sedentary activities and contemplative attitudes (S). High NA scores were related to hair pulling which was the focus of the Ss' attention, as well as with increased prevalence of lifetime obsessive compulsive disorder, other anxiety disorders, current and past depression, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder. High SA scores were related to a history of major depression only. Weighted scores on these components may be useful in further elaborating the phenomenology of trichotillomania and designing appropriate treatment interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993


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