Assessment and Treatment of Kleptomania

Jon E. Grant, Brian L. Odlaug and Suck Won Kim

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Assessment and Treatment of Kleptomania

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  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing



Kleptomania, a disabling impulse control disorder, is characterized by repetitive and uncontrollable theft of items that are of little if any use. Kleptomania often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as a mood disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or a substance use disorder. Unlike typical shoplifters, individuals with kleptomania steal for symptomatic relief rather than personal gain. Although the etiology of kleptomania is unknown, various biological and psychosocial theories may explain why some individuals develop kleptomania. Although cognitive behavioral therapy has shown early promise in treating kleptomania in case reports, the only controlled data for treatment involve the use of the opioid antagonist naltrexone.

Keywords: comorbidity; impulse control disorders; kleptomania; shoplifting; stealing; theft; treatment

Article.  6896 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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