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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008 Nov;196(11):829-37. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31818b4e3d.

Comparison of personality traits in pedophiles, abstinent opiate addicts, and healthy controls: considering pedophilia as an addictive behavior.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York 10003, USA.


To investigate the model of pedophilia as a disorder of addictive behavior, pedophiles and chemically addicted individuals were compared on personality traits potentially associated with impaired behavioral inhibition. Twenty-nine pedophiles, 25 opiate addicts (OA's), and 27 healthy controls were administered the Barratt Impulsivity Scale, Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-V for Axis-II. OA's scored higher than either pedophiles or controls on the Barratt. Pedophiles and OA's scored higher than controls on all 3 Psychopathy Checklist-Revised scores but OA's scored marginally higher than pedophiles on factor 2 (behavioral) and total scores. On Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-V for Axis-II, pedophiles scored higher than controls on paranoid and schizoid scores whereas OA's did so on paranoid scores. Thus, both pedophiles and OA's may have elevated psychopathic traits and propensity toward cognitive distortions, as reflected in cluster A traits. Such similarities support the conceptualization of pedophilia as a behavioral addiction. Pedophiles may be less impulsive than OA's, however, and more prone toward cognitive distortions.

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