Compulsive sexual behavior in young adults

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Abstract

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.

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