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Can J Psychiatry. 2000 Feb;45(1):63-6.

Anxiety, significant losses, depression, and irrational beliefs in first-offence shoplifters.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Quebec.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the relationship among demographic data, anxiety, significant losses, depression, and irrational beliefs reported by first-offence shoplifters.

METHOD:

One hundred and six adult shoplifters who were first-time offenders completed a self-administered questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Men and women were equally likely to be arrested for this offence. The majority of offenders were poor and unemployed. Depression, but not anxiety, was the most common psychiatric disorder associated with shoplifting. Subjects with depression presented the greatest number of irrational beliefs related to shoplifting.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors suggest 2 categories of shoplifters: those who shoplift through rational choice; and those for whom shoplifting is a response to depression or leads to the fulfillment of some psychological needs. In conclusion, shoplifting does not have a unitary motive, and the clinical implications are that the affective and cognitive aspects of shoplifters' behaviours must be taken into account.

PMID:
10696491
DOI:
10.1177/070674370004500109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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