Problematic Sexual Behavior in Young Adults: Associations Across Clinical, Behavioral, and Neurocognitive Variables


Eric W. Leppinka , Samuel R.Chamberlain, Sarah A.Redden , and Jon E. Grant


2016 in Psychiatry Research, Vol. 246, pp. 230-235

  • This study found that study participants with problematic sexual behavior showed differences in impulsivity, decision making, spatial working memory, problem solving, and emotional dysregulation - these associations suggest a more salient impact than typical sexual behavior.
A notable number of young adults struggle to control impulsive behavior, resulting in impairment and distress. Assessments of problematic sexual behavior (PSB) have noted clinical differences relative to other populations, but neurocognitive findings have varied. This analysis assesses the clinical presentation and neurocognitive profile of patients with PSB relative to participants without PSB symptoms. A total of 492 participants (18–29) were recruited for a study on impulsivity in young adults. Participants completed... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "One notable result from this analysis is that PSB shows significant associations with a number of deleterious clinical factors, including lower self-esteem, decreased quality of life, elevated BMI, and higher comorbidity rates for several disorders. A potential explanation for this association is that PSB is the underlying problem from which these other problems extend... thus, it is possible that PSB gives rise to a host of secondary problems, ranging from alcohol dependence and depression to deteriorations in quality of life and self-esteem. This characterization would indicate it may be possible to ameliorate secondary symptoms such as depression and alcohol use by addressing problems with PSB directly during treatment."