The legitimacy of nonsubstance addictions has received increased attention from clinicians, researchers and the general population as more and more individuals report symptoms con- sistent with impairment of impulse control. The clinical presentation of these disorders is varied, as compulsive activities may include: gambling, eating, sex, shopping, use of the Internet or videogames or even exercising, working or falling in love. As such, there is great controversy in diagnosing, treat- ing or even naming these conditions, as many of these behaviors are daily rituals instrumental to our ultimate survival. Historically, the phrase “impulse control disorders” described these conditions but many researchers and clinicians also use the term “behavioral addictions,” “process addictions” or “impulsive-compulsive behaviors” to report behavioral pathology. This review summarizes the data of each of these behavioral addictions from epidemiology to neurobiology to treatment options. Research suggests similarities between natural and drug reward processing but clinical evidence supports the utilization of treatment modalities for these behavioral conditions that can sometimes differ from traditional drug treatment.
This article reports the psychometric evaluation of the Pornography Consumption Inventory (PCI), which was developed to assess motivations for pornography use among hypersexual men. Initial factor structure and item analysis were conducted in a sample of men (N = 105) seeking to reduce their pornography consumption (Study 1), yielding a 4-factor solution. In a second sample of treatment-seeking hypersexual men (N = 107), the authors further investigated the properties of the PCI using confirmatory factor analytic procedures, reliability indices, and explored PCI associations
The results of these findings suggest that clinicians should exercise caution in assuming that common characteristics of ADHD, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity, exert the strongest influence on hypersexual behavior. Rather, our results provide evidence that the associated features of ADHD, such as problems with low self-esteem, might be more salient factors in influencing hypersexuality severity among patients with comorbid hypersexual behavior and ADHD.
The present study explored facets of personality between pathological gamblers (n = 69) and non-pathological gamblers (n = 55) in a convenience sample in Los Angeles, California. Pathological gamblers were more prone to mood disturbance, impulsivity, feelings of frustration, interpersonal sensitivity, vulnerability to distress, and distrust of others as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory—Revised. Pathological gamblers also reported diminished competence and self-discipline as well as tendencies toward hasty decision-making when compared to non- pathological gamblers. A categorical analysis of subtypes revealed that those who gambled to escape experienced significantly greater levels of neuroticism and facets of impulsivity.
Patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior often exhibit features of impulsivity, cognitive rigidity, poor judgment, deficits in emotion regulation, and excessive preoccupation with sex. Some of these characteristics are also common among patients presenting with neurological pathology associated with executive dysfunction. These observations led to the current investigation of differences between a group of hypersexual patients (n = 87) and a non-hypersexual community sample (n = 92) of men using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Adult Version (BRIEF-A) and the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI). Significant differences between the groups emerged on eight subscales and all of the general indices of executive functioning with the most dramatic differences on BRIEF-A’s Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, and Plan/Organize subscales. Hypersexual behavior was positively correlated (r = .37, p < .01) with global indices of executive dysfunction and several subscales of the BRIEF-A. These findings provide preliminary evidence supporting the hypothesis that executive dysfunction may be implicated in hypersexual behavior.