Adult ADHD Diagnosis, Symptoms of Impulsivity, and Emotional Dysregulation in a Clinical Sample of Outpatients Consulting for a Behavioral Addiction


Objective:

This study aimed to investigate ADHD in adult outpatients seeking treatment for a behavioral addiction and to identify the specificity of psychopathological features if the behavioral addiction cooccurs with adult ADHD.


Method:

Sixty-five outpatients consulting for a behavioral addiction were assessed for ADHD (DIVA-5), addictive disorder (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, gambling, gaming, food, and sex), impulsivity (UPPS-P), and emotion dysregulation (DERS-36).


Results:

In our sample of outpatients seeking treatment for a behavioral addiction, adult ADHD was independently associated with higher compulsive sexual behavior disorder severity, “sensation seeking,” “positive urgency,” difficulties in “goal-directed behavior,” “impulse control,” and use of “emotion regulation strategies” in the context of intense emotions. A 19% of the sample was diagnosed for adult ADHD.


Conclusion:

The association of adult ADHD with specific dimensions of impulsivity and emotion dysregulation, pave the way for future clinical and research perspectives.


Keywords:

adult ADHD; behavioral addiction; emotional dysregulation; impulsivity.

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