Problems of self-concept in a patient sample of hypersexual men with attention-deficit disorder

J Addict Med. 2011 Jun;5(2):134-40. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3181e6ad32.


Objectives: Earlier evidence suggests comorbid attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) among those seeking treatment for hypersexual behavior. This article examines which facets of ADHD symptoms are most strongly associated with hypersexual behavior among a patient sample of men (N = 81).

Methods: ADHD diagnosis was made by 2 clinicians, and symptom characteristics were measured using the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale and the Sexual Compulsivity Scale.

Results: Among ADHD symptoms, inattentive features were most prevalent. A stepwise regression analysis revealed that the Problems with Self-Concept subscale of the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale was the strongest predictor of scores on the Sexual Compulsivity Scale. Surprisingly, subscales that measured traits of impulsivity, inattention, memory problems, and hyperactive restlessness did not contribute additional predictive variance in the statistical model.

Conclusions: The results of these findings suggest that clinicians should exercise caution in assuming that common characteristics of ADHD, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity, exert the strongest influence on hypersexual behavior. Rather, our results provide evidence that the associated features of ADHD, such as problems with low self-esteem, might be more salient factors in influencing hypersexuality severity among patients with comorbid hypersexual behavior and ADHD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / complications*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*
  • Young Adult