Intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors in postpartum women: Psychometric properties of the parental thoughts and behaviors checklist.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Aim
Postpartum-specific obsessions and compulsions are common in postpartum women, but validated measures to comprehensively assess such symptoms are few. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the psychometric properties of a self-report version of the Parental Thoughts and Behaviors Checklist (PTBC) that assesses postpartum-specific intrusive thoughts, associated behaviors, and their overall severity and interference.
The PTBC, along with measures of general obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression, anxiety, parental stress and quality of life, were administered via an online survey platform to 488 women who had given birth during the last year.
Scores on the PTBC subscales showed good to excellent internal consistency and correlated in the expected direction with the other measures in the study, with the strongest correlations being with OCD and anxiety. Scores on the PTBC also discriminated between women with and without a self-reported history of OCD. Finally, exploratory factor analyses yielded nine thematic factors related to obsessions and compulsions (e.g., fear of suffocation/checking, hurting baby accidentally, forbidden sexual thoughts about baby) which largely corresponded to the themes identified by the developers of the interview-based version of the PTBC.
This self-report version of the PTBC was found to possess good psychometric properties and to have a factor structure that largely overlapped with the structure of the interview-based version. Further evaluation of this version is needed, but the measure holds promise as a tool that may aid in the assessment of postpartum OCD that can be used in primary care and in psychiatric settings.


External organisations
  • Region Skåne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
  • Psychiatry


  • OCD, Maternal Mental Health, Assessment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch