The Sexual Compulsivity Scale: further development and use with HIV-positive persons

J Pers Assess. 2001 Jun;76(3):379-95. doi: 10.1207/S15327752JPA7603_02.


We examined the reliability and validity of the Sexual Compulsivity Scale for use in assessing HIV-positive men and women. Measures collected from 287 men and women recruited from the community, the majority of whom were African American and over the age of 30, showed that the Sexual Compulsivity Scale was reliable for men (alpha = .89) and women (alpha = .92). Correlations with measures of sexual behaviors and numbers of sex partners supported the concurrent validity of the Sexual Compulsivity Scale for men and women. Results of discriminant function analyses that included participant age, use of nonalcohol drugs, the Sexual Compulsivity Scale, and scores on measures of trait anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, future pessimism, cognitive depression, and borderline personality characteristics showed that sexual compulsivity clearly discriminated between persons with 1 or no sex partners and persons with multiple partners in the past 3 months, for both men and women, suggesting evidence for criterion-related validity. Associations between sexual compulsivity scores and other markers of psychopathology showed different patterns for men and women; sexual compulsivity was associated with indexes of psychopathology in men but not in women. We conclude that the Sexual Compulsivity Scale is reliable and valid in assessing men and women infected with HIV, although sexual compulsivity may present differently between genders in relation to other forms of psychopathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Safe Sex / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*