Exploring Patterns of Unwanted Behaviours in Adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Riccardo Pignatti, Ileana Mori, Laura Bertella, Graziano Grugni, Daniela Giardino, Enrico Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obsessive-compulsive (O-C) traits, and excessive food intake are well known behavioural manifestations among individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Other unwanted behaviours are also frequently observed, but they need a more specific investigation, especially in the adult population. Methods: The behaviour of 31 PWS adults was investigated via the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Symptom Checklist (Y-BOCS-SC), and the Prader-Willi Behavioural Checklist (PBC). The PBC is a quick screening questionnaire prompted specifically for the investigation on adults with PWS. Results: Statistical clustering revealed two patterns of unwanted behaviours from the PBC. Behaviours belonging to the first cluster (e.g. Excessive food intake, Skin picking) appear to be linked to the usual phenotypic manifestation of PWS. By contrast, many other behaviours (e.g. some O-C symptoms and aggressive actions) could show a relationship also to individual psychopathologies. Conclusions: Both internal (Anxiety and Depression) and external (Hostility) difficulties in managing impulses should account for individually distinct behaviours in adults with PWS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-577
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Behaviour
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Psychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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