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Kleptomania: clinical characteristics and associated psychopathology

  • Susan L. McElroy (a1), James I. Hudson (a1), Harrison G. Pope (a1) and Paul E. Keck (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

A review of research on Kleptomania – the syndrome of compulsive stealing – suggests that kleptomania may be a common disorder, especially among women, and that it may frequently be associated with other forms of psychopathology, such as mood, anxiety, and eating disorders. There appears to be a range of abnormal or non-antisocial stealing behaviours, all with impulsive and/or compulsive features. Kleptomania, as defined by modern criteria, may represent the most compulsive variant. Kleptomania may be related to mood disorder, and might be a form of ‘affective spectrum disorder’.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Susan L. McElroy, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02178, USA.
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