Childhood trauma - physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and emotional or physical neglect - has been linked to a variety of mental-health problems including depression, anxiety and eating and personality disorders. However, the relationship between childhood trauma and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has not been well studied. A U.S. study of 938 college students found that 13-30% of them met the criteria for childhood trauma with emotional neglect the most commonly reported experience. There was an association between emotional abuse, physical abuse and high levels of OCD symptoms which remained significant even after allowing for the effects of co-occuring anxiety. There were also associations between emotional neglect, sexual abuse and conscientiousness and between conscientiousness and OCD symptoms suggesting that this could be an indirect route by which childhood trauma leads to OCD.
Mathews, Carol A., Kaur, Nirmaljit and Stein, Murray B. - Childhood trauma and obsessive-compulsive disorder Depression and Anxiety 25(9), 742-751