The impact of tic severity, comorbidity and peer attachment on quality of life outcomes and functioning in Tourette’s syndrome: Parental perspectives.


The aim of this controlled, community-based study based on data from parents of youth (aged 7-16 years) with Tourette’s syndrome (TS; n = 86) and parents of age and gender matched peers (n = 108) was to test several hypotheses involving a range of variables salient to the TS population, including peer attachment, quality of life, severity of tics, comorbidity, and psychological, behavioural and social dysfunction. Multivariate between-group analyses confirmed that TS group youth experienced lower quality of life, increased emotional, behavioural and social difficulties, and elevated rates of insecure peer attachment relative to controls, as reported by their primary caregiver. Results also confirmed the main hypothesis that security of peer attachment would be associated with individual variability in outcomes for youth with TS. As predicted, multivariate within-TS group analyses determined strong relationships among adverse quality of life outcomes and insecure attachment to peers, increased tic severity, and the presence of comorbid disorder. Findings suggest that youth with TS are at increased risk for insecure peer attachment and that this might be an important variable impacting the quality of life outcomes for those diagnosed.