Evidence-based assessment of compulsive skin picking, chronic tic disorders and trichotillomania in children

Joseph F. McGuire, Brittany B. Kugler, Jennifer M. Park, Betty Horng, Adam B. Lewin, Tanya K. Murphy, Eric A. Storch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) is an umbrella term for debilitating, repetitive behaviors that target one or more body regions. Despite regularly occurring in youth, there has been limited investigation of BFRBs in pediatric populations. One reason for this may be that there are few reliable and valid assessments available to evaluate the presence, severity and impairment of BFRBs in youth. Given the shift toward evidencebased assessment in mental health, the development and utilization of evidence-based measures of BFRBs warrants increasing attention. This paper examines the available evidence-base for assessments in youth across three BFRB-related disorders: compulsive skin picking, chronic tic disorders and trichotillomania. Based upon present empirical support in samples of youth, recommendations are made for an evidence-based assessment of each condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-883
Number of pages29
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Body-focused repetitive behavior
  • Evidence-based assessment
  • Hair pulling
  • Skin picking
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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