Invitation to participate: Understanding parental experiences of early obsessive-compulsive signs emerging at 4-10 years

Posted on: October 1st, 2022

You are being invited to take part in a research study which involves parents being interviewed to understand their experiences of parenting a child who has (or had, if since diagnosed) what may be considered as early obsessive-compulsive styles of thinking and behaviour. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

About the research

Who will conduct the research?

James Dilks is conducting this project in part fulfilment of a postgraduate qualification (PhD). James has been DBS checked. This project is supervised by Dr Ming Wai Wan (Division of Psychology and Mental Health) and Dr Rebecca Pedley (Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work) at the University of Manchester.

What is the purpose of the research?

We know from research that some children can show styles of thinking and behaviour that are repeated often, and which the child struggles to control. This can start to happen at primary school age or earlier, and may (or may not) be recognised as ‘obsessive-compulsive’.

While some of these children later become diagnosed with a mental disorder (such as obsessive- compulsive disorder, OCD), others are not. Either way, these kinds of recurring thoughts and compulsive behaviours (to try to get rid of the thoughts) are likely to be challenging and distressing for families. Research in child mental health shows that early prevention is most effective, so this research seeks to understand the support such families need. The purpose of this research is to carry out interviews to understand these early stages from the parents’ experience. This may be based on your current experience as a parent of a young child, or previous experience if your child is now older (11+ years).

Am I suitable to take part?

To take part, you must be a parent (mother, father or guardian) living in the UK and have a child who:

• Lives with you.

• Does not have a diagnosis of OCD but who is showing or showed ‘obsessive-compulsive’ thoughts/behaviours by the age of 10.

• Your child is currently 4-16 years of age.

• You are fluent enough in English to participate in an interview.


• Lives with you.

• Is diagnosed with OCD and showed ‘signs’ of this by the age of 10.

• Your child is currently 4-17 years of age.

• You are fluent enough in English to participate in an interview.

You must also be able to provide informed consent to take part in the study.

Who has reviewed the research project?

The project has been reviewed by The University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee 1/2/3/5/ and has been approved (ref: 14260; date to be added later)

What do I do now if I wish to take part?

If you have any questions about the study, or if you are interested in taking part, then please contact
James Dilks ( to discuss your suitability and arrange a time to be interviewed.

To find out more and take part, click here or get in touch with the researcher directly –

Phone number: 01612755223