Compulsive sexual behavior in young adults

Brian L. Odlaug, Katherine Lust, Liana R.N. Schreiber, Gary Christenson, Katherine Derbyshire, Arit Harvanko, David Golden, Jon E. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) is estimated to affect 3% to 6% of adults, although limited information is available on the true prevalence and impact of CSB in young adults. This epidemiological study aims to estimate the prevalence and health correlates of CSB using a large sample of students. METHODS: The survey examined sexual behaviors and their consequences, stress and mood states, psychiatric comorbidity, and psychosocial functioning. RESULTS: The estimated prevalence of CSB was 2.0%. Compared with respondents without CSB, individuals with CSB reported more depressive and anxiety symptoms, higher levels of stress, poorer self-esteem, and higher rates of social anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, compulsive buying, pathological gambling, and kleptomania. CONCLUSIONS: CSB is common among young adults and is associated with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and a range of psychosocial impairments. Significant distress and diminished behavioral control suggest that CSB often may have significant associated morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Health
  • Hypersexuality
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Prevalence
  • Sex
  • Young adult


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