For Families > Disorders and Treatments > A-Z Disorder Guide > Obsessive Compulsive Disorder > Children at Risk

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Children at Risk

Children at Risk

OCD affects as many as 3% of the general population, roughly one million of whom are children and adolescents. These statistics translate into three to five youngsters with OCD per average-sized elementary school and as many as twenty in a large urban high school.


The age of onset in more than 50% of adult cases with this disorder is before age 15; 2% of children usually diagnosed between the ages of 7 and 12. OCD has been reported as early as the preschool years, with a peak onset age of about ten.


Unlike the high female: male ratio in other anxiety disorders, the ratio of boys to girls is 2:1.

Family History

Twenty percent of youngsters with OCD have another family member with OCD.