Legal Aspects of Impulse Control Disorders

Jon E. Grant and Brian L. Odlaug

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940431 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Legal Aspects of Impulse Control Disorders

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Impulse control disorders present unique legal issues for the criminal justice system.

These behaviors require that the courts differentiate an uncontrolled act from an uncontrollable act. Kleptomania is by definition a disorder linked to illegal behaviors, whereas pathological gambling and compulsive sexual behavior are two impulse control disorders that are often associated with illegal activities for some individuals. Can and should a psychiatric disorder be used as a defense for criminal responsibility? This chapter will discuss the legal aspects of certain impulse control disorders and how courts have struggled to understand these complex behaviors from the criminal justice perspective.

Keywords: courts; gambling; impulse control; insanity; law; legal; shoplifting; theft

Article.  4763 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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