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


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.


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).


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.


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


adult ADHD; behavioral addiction; emotional dysregulation; impulsivity.

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