Kleptomania: Comorbid psychiatric diagnosis in patients and their families

Pinhas N. Dannon*, Katherine M. Lowengrub, Iulian Iancu, Moshe Kotler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: Kleptomania, defined by DSM-IV as the inability to resist the impulse to steal objects which are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value, may reflect a form of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder and/or affective spectrum disorder. Methods: Twenty-one kleptomanic patients and 57 first-degree relatives completed a semistructured DSM-IV-based interview and questionnaires. Questionnaires are: the HDRS-17 (the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression), the HARS (Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety), the Y-BOCS (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale), the YMRS (Young Mania Rating Scale). The two groups were compared to demographically matched normal controls (n = 64). Results: We found a high prevalence of affective and anxiety disorders in our sample of kleptomanic patients and their first-degree relatives. In addition, the scores on the HDRS, HARS, and Y-BOCS were significantly higher in the study group than in the control group. Conclusions: Our finding of a high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in kleptomanic patients could lead to the development of new treatment strategies for this disorder. Furthermore, the pattern of psychiatric disorders seen in the first-degree relatives can lead to new insights about the nosology and etiopathology of kleptomania.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Anxiety
  • Comorbid diagnosis
  • Depression
  • Kleptomania
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Treatment


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