Self-concept and self-esteem in patients with chronic tic disorders: A systematic literature review

Paola R. Silvestri, Valentina Baglioni, Francesco Cardona, Andrea E. Cavanna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic tic disorders are neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by the presence of motor and/or phonic tics and often accompanied by co-morbid behavioral problems. Chronic tic disorders can negatively affect the level of functioning of young patients across social and family domains, with possible repercussions on their self-perception. We conducted a systematic literature review to assess the clinical correlates of both components of self-perception (self-concept, i.e. what patients think about themselves, and self-esteem, i.e. how they feel about their self-concept) in patients with chronic tic disorders. Reported levels of self-perception varied widely across studies, partly due to the methodological heterogeneity of the reviewed literature. Poor self-concept and self-esteem appeared to be more strongly related to the presence of psychiatric co-morbidities (especially obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorders) than to tic severity. Poor peer relationship, social difficulties, as well as problems with parents' acceptance were identified as further risk factors for low self-perception. Finally, the reviewed studies highlighted a link between self-perception and quality of life in patients with chronic tic disorders, alongside the protective role of good social adjustment. This information can therefore assist treating clinicians in the choice of tailored therapeutic interventions for this patient population, including behavioral management techniques that can improve self-concept and self-esteem through increased self-efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number5
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Tic disorders
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Tics
  • Self-perception
  • Self-concept
  • Self-esteem


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