Kleptomania, defined as the recurrent failure to resist the impulse to steal, is associated with significant functional impairment. We hypothesized that people with kleptomania would report elevated levels of perceived stress. Sixteen subjects with DSM-IV kleptomania were administered the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and compared with 20 subjects with DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD). Change in PSS scores in response to treatment and the relationship between PSS scores and severity of kleptomania symptoms were analyzed. The subjects with kleptomania had a significantly greater mean baseline PSS score than the 20 subjects with MDD (t = 8.55, df = 34, p = .000). PSS scores were significantly correlated with severity of kleptomania symptoms (r = .71, p = .002), even when controlling for comorbid diagnoses (r = .67, p = .006). PSS scores significantly decreased during the course of treatment (t = 9.31, df = 15, p = .000). People with kleptomania have higher levels of perceived stress than people with MDD, and the perceived stress decreases as the kleptomania symptoms are treated.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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