Although studies have examined clinical characteristics of kleptomania, no previous studies have examined the legal consequences of kleptomania. From 2001 to 2007, 101 adult subjects (n = 27 [26.7%] males) with DSM-IV kleptomania were assessed on sociodemographics and clinical characteristics including symptom severity, comorbidity, and legal repercussions. Of 101 subjects with kleptomania, 73.3% were female. Mean age of shoplifting onset was 19.4 ± 12.0 years, and subjects shoplifted a mean of 8.2 ± 11.0 years prior to meeting full criteria for kleptomania. Co-occurring depressive, substance use, and impulse control disorders were common. Sixty-nine subjects with kleptomania (68.3%) had been arrested, 36.6% had been arrested but not convicted, 20.8% had been convicted and incarcerated after conviction, while only 10.9% had been convicted and not incarcerated after conviction. Kleptomania is associated with significant legal repercussions. The findings emphasize the need for rigorous treatment approaches to target kleptomania symptoms and prevent re-offending.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2009
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