Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) and Personality Features

Samuel R. Chamberlain, Brian L. Odlaug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) represent a collection of motoric acts that can become ingrained, habitual, and functionally impairing. They often relate to excessive grooming of the body or skin. Although these pathological habits have been described since ancient times, only recently have they been incorporated into psychiatric nosological systems. The relationship between BFRBs and aspects of personality has been scarcely researched. Understanding how formal axis-II personality disorders, questionnaire-based measures of personality, or other putatively enduring traits such as cognitive impairment, relate to the BFRBs may advance our understanding of the core characteristics of the BFRBs and subsequently lead to greater understanding of their pathophysiology and treatment. This article reviews the existing literature surrounding BFRBs and aspects of personality, and highlights limitations in our current understanding of these aspects, along with future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Samuel Chamberlain serves as a consultant for Cambridge Cognition. Brian Odlaug serves as a consultant for Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals and received a grant from Trichotillomania Learning Center, and honoraria and royalties from Oxford University Press. This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer International Publishing AG.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Body focused repetitive behavior
  • Cognition
  • Compulsivity
  • Dimension
  • Impulsivity
  • Personality
  • Self-regulation
  • Skin-picking
  • Trichotillomania


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