Experiences of distress by participants in the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover community

Brian D Zamboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examined data on 1795 male, 139 female, and 78 gender non-binary members of the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover (ABDL) online community. Using grounded theory, qualitative analyses explored reasons for breaks in ABDL practices and reasons for distress lasting longer than 6 months due to ABDL interests. Quantitative analyses examined differences between participants reporting the aforementioned period of distress and those who did not. Negative reactions from parents and romantic partners appeared to cause breaks in ABDL behavior as well as distress due to ABDL interests. Other reasons for breaks were a living arrangement that interfered with ABDL behavior, a struggle in self-acceptance of ABDL interests, and lack of access to ABDL paraphernalia. Distress due to ABDL interests reflected mental health concerns, such as depression, due to conflicting feelings about their ABDL interests or due to interpersonal conflicts over the ABDL practices. Participants who reported distress were older, had practiced ABDL longer, reported more problems due to ABDL interests, had more negative mood states, had a more negative relationship with both parents, greater attachment avoidance, and greater attachment anxiety. Normalizing sexual diversity may help minimize distress in individuals who have atypical interests or practices, whether they are sex-related or not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-486
Number of pages17
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018


  • ABDL
  • Adult Baby Diaper Lover
  • fetishism
  • infantilism
  • paraphilia


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