Characteristics of Subgroups in the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover Community

Brian D. Zamboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background There is a lack of research on adult baby/diaper lover (ABDL) behavior, particularly from community samples. Prior studies have not examined differences between the AB and DL subgroups in the ABDL community. Aim To explore whether endorsements of AB role-play enjoyment and ratings of sexual enjoyment during ABDL activity were related to parenting and attachment variables, negative mood states, and reported problems with ABDL and to explore differences by relationship status and by sexual orientation. Method Data from a larger survey of an online ABDL community were analyzed. The final sample included 1,795 men and 139 women. Outcomes Participants completed questions about their ABDL interests, the short form of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, the Maternal and Paternal Relationship Scales designed for this study, the shortened version of the Profile of Mood States, and questions about problems with ABDL. Results Greater enjoyment of role playing was associated with being raised by a single female caregiver, a more negative paternal relationship, higher attachment anxiety, and more negative mood states. Differences based on relationship status and sexual orientation were minimal. Participants who most liked no sexual activity reported higher enjoyment of role playing and lower enjoyment of sexual activity in ABDL behavior compared with other groups. Regardless of sexual orientation, men rated sexual enjoyment in ABDL higher than role-play enjoyment. Ratings of sexual interest in diapers were generally not different from ratings of sexual interest in adults. Clinical Implications ABDL clients who enjoy role playing and want to understand their behaviors might wish to explore family-of-origin experiences more than clients who find diapers erotic. Clients who find diapers erotic are likely to have other sexual interests. ABDL subgroups are generally comfortable with their practices and might not have a need for therapy. Strengths and Limitations Despite the lack of a comparison group, this study has a large, non-psychiatric sample of a marginalized sexual subculture and affirms that such individuals should not be readily pathologized. Conclusion In contrast to persons who find diapers erotic, AB role playing is more likely to be an interpersonal, non-sexual behavior helping some individuals decrease attachment anxiety and negative mood states. Atypical behaviors are not troubling for some individuals, regardless of the origins and motivations of the behavior. Zamboni BD. Characteristics of Subgroups in the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover Community. J Sex Med 2017;14:1421–1429.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1429
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 International Society for Sexual Medicine


  • Adult Baby
  • Adult Baby/Diaper Lover (ABDL)
  • Atypical Sexual
  • Diaper Lover


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of Subgroups in the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover Community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this