Impulsivity in Childhood

Kelda H. Walsh and Christopher J. McDougle

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

Impulsivity in Childhood


This chapter discusses impulse control disorders in children 12 years of age and younger. In this age group, the available research focuses on fire setting/pyromania, trichotillomania, and pathological gambling. Less well studied are kleptomania, intermittent explosive disorder, and the impulse control disorder not otherwise specified, pathological skin picking. Clinical presentation, diagnosis, epidemiology, age of onset, risk factors, sociocultural factors, and comorbidity will be reviewed. Psychotherapeutic interventions for the age group will be explored, with particular emphasis on behavioral therapy. The available literature on psychopharmacological treatments, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and opioid antagonists, will also be explored.

Keywords: children; fire setting; pyromania; trichotillomania; pathological gambling; kleptomania; intermittent explosive disorder; impulse control disorder; pathological skin picking; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; naltrexone

Article.  13708 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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