Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Epidemiology of behavioral dependence: literature review and results of original studies

  • M. Lejoyeux (a1), M. Mc Loughlin (a1) and J. Adès (a1)

Summary

The extension of the definition of dependence leads to the consideration of some impulsive disorders as a form of dependence disorder. This pathological condition is characterized by the repetitive occurrence of impulsive and uncontrolled behaviors. Other clinical characteristics are failure to resist an impulse, drive or temptation to perform some act harmful to oneself and/or others, an increasing sense of tension or excitement before acting out, and a sense of pleasure, gratification or release at the time of the behavior or shortly thereafter. Behavioral dependences most often described are pathological gambling, kleptomania, trichotillomania and compulsive buying.

Studies using a specific assessment scale, the South Oaks Gambling Screen, distinguished problem gambling from pathological gambling. Social gamblers spend 5% of their money and pathological gamblers 14 to 45%. Prevalence of ‘problem gambling’ is 4% and pathological gambling 2%. Several studies have suggested that the incidence of pathological gambling is eight to ten times greater in alcohol-dependent patients than in the general population.

No systematic study has assessed the prevalence of kleptomania. Data come from case reports. Among subjects arrested after a theft, prevalence of kleptomania varied between 0 and 24%. Trichotillomania prevalence rate is 0.6% among students. Studies using less restrictive diagnostic criteria found a prevalence rate of 3.4% in women and 1.5% in men. The disorder is often unrecognized; 40% of the cases are not diagnosed and 58% of the patients have never been treated.

Prevalence studies of compulsive buying found a rate between 1 and 6% in the general population. Compulsive buying is significantly more frequent among women (90% of the cases). Study of family history of compulsive buyers showed a high frequency of alcohol-dependence disorder (20%) and depression (18%). In all cases of behavioral dependence disorders, a high level of impulsivity and sensation-seeking could determine an increased risk.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence and reprints

References

Hide All
1Black, D.WRepertinger, SGaffney, G.RGabel, JFamily history and psychiatric comorbidity in persons with compulsive buying: preliminary findings. Am J Psychiatry 15 1998 960–963
2Bohn, M.JMeyer, R.ETypologies of addiction.Galanter, MKleber, H.DAmerican Psychiatric Press textbook of substance abuse treatment. 1994 Washington: American Psychiatric Press 11–24
3Blume, S.BPathological gamblingMiller, N.SThe principles and practice of addictions in psychiatry. 1997 Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company 422–432
4Christenson, G.AMackenzie, T.BMitchell, J.ECharacteristics of 60 adult chronic hair pullers. Am J Psychiatry 148 1991 365–370
5Christenson, GFaber, R.JDeZwaan, MRaymond, N.CSpecker, S.MEkern, M.D et al. Compulsive buying: descriptive characteristics and psychiatric comorbidity. J Clin Psychiatry 55 1994 5–11
6Christenson, G.ACrow, S.JThe characterization and treatment of trichotillomania. J Clin Psychiatry 57 Suppl 8 1996 42–49
7Cohen, L.JStein, D.JSimeon, DSpadaccini, ERosen, JAronowitz, B et al. Clinical profile, comorbidity, and treatment history in 123 hair pullers: a survey study. J Clin Psychiatry 56 1995 319–326
8Devlin, A.SPeppard, D.M JrCasino use by college students. Psychol Rep 78 1996 899–906
9Edwards, GProblems and dependence: the history of two dimensions.Lader, Mwards, GDrummond, D.CThe nature of alcohol and drug related problems. 1992 Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications 1–13
10Faber, R.JO'Guinn, T.CA clinical screener for compulsivie buying. J Consumer Res 19 1992 459–469
11Goldman, M.JKleptomania: making sense of the nonsensical. Am J Psychiatry 148 1991 986–996
12Lejoyeux, MAdès, JTassain, VSolomon, JPhenomenology and psychopathology of uncontrolled buying Am J Psychiatry 155 1996 1524–1529
13Lejoyeux, MTassain, VSolomon, JAdès, JStudy of compulsive buying in depressed patients. J Clin Psychiatry 58 1997 169–173
14Lejoyeux, MFeuché, NLoi, SSolomon, JAdès, JStudy of impulse control disorders among alcohol-dependent patients. J Clin Psychiatry 40 1999 302–305
15Lesieur, H.RHeineman, MPathological gambling among youthful multiple substance abusers in a therapeutic community. Br J Addict 83 1988 765–771
16McElroy, S.LPope, H.G JrHudson, J.IKeck, P.E JrWhite, K.LKleptomania: a report of 20 cases. Am J Psychiatry 148 1991 652–657
17McElroy, S.LKeck, P.E JrPope, H.G JrSmith, J.M.RStrakowski, S.MCompulsive buying: a report of 20 cases. J Clin Psychiatry 55 1994 242–248
18McElroy, S.LKeck, P.E JrPhillips, K.AKleptomania, compulsive buying, and binge-eating disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 56 Suppl 4 1995 14–26
19Marks, IBehavioural (non-chemical) addictions Br J Addict 85 1990 1389–1394
20Sarasalo, EBergman, BToth, JPersonality traits and psychiatric and somatic morbidity among kleptomaniacs. Acta Psychiatr Scand 94 1996 358–364
21Volberg, R.ASteadman, H.JRefining prevalence estimates of pathological gambling. Am J Psychiatry 145 1988 502–505
22Volberg, R.ABanks, S.MA review of two measures of pathological gambling in the United States. J Gambl Stud 6 1990 153–163
23Westphal, J.RRush, JPathological gambling in Louisiana: an epidemiological perspective. J La State Med Soc 148 1996 353–358
24Zuckerman, MEysenck, SEysenck, H.JSensation seeking in England and in America: cross-cultural, age, and sex comparisons. J Consult Clin Psychol 46 1978 139–149

Keywords

Epidemiology of behavioral dependence: literature review and results of original studies

  • M. Lejoyeux (a1), M. Mc Loughlin (a1) and J. Adès (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.

Epidemiology of behavioral dependence: literature review and results of original studies

  • M. Lejoyeux (a1), M. Mc Loughlin (a1) and J. Adès (a1)
Submit a response

Comments

No Comments have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *