To investigate impulsive behaviors in pathological buying (PB).
The study included three groups matched for age and gender: treatment seeking outpatients with PB (PB+), treatment seeking psychiatric inpatients without PB (PB−), and a healthy control group (HC). PB was assessed by means of the Compulsive Buying Scale and by the impulse control disorder (ICD) module of the research version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-ICD). All participants answered questionnaires concerning symptoms of borderline personality disorder, self-harming behaviors, binge eating and symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, comorbid ICDs were assessed using the SCID-ICD.
The PB+ and PB− groups did not differ with regard to borderline personality disorder or ADHD symptoms, but both groups reported significantly more symptoms than the HC group. Frequencies of self-harming behaviors did not differ between the three groups. Patients with PB were more often diagnosed with any current ICD (excluding PB) compared to those without PB and the HC group (38.7% vs. 12.9% vs. 12.9%, respectively, p=.017).
Our findings confirm prior research suggesting more impulsive behaviors in patients with and without PB compared to healthy controls. The results of the questionnaire-based assessment indicate that outpatients with PB perceive themselves equally impulsive and self-harm as frequently as inpatients without PB; but they seem to suffer more often from an ICD as assessed by means of an interview.
Exercise dependence (EXD) is considered a behavioral addiction that is often associated with eating disorders. To date, only few studies examined the potential overlap between EXD and other addictive behaviors. Therefore, the present study aimed at investigating the relationship of EXD with pathological buying, pathological video gaming (offline and online), hypersexual behavior, and alcohol use disorder in a sample of clients of fitness centers.
The following questionnaires were answered by 128 individuals (age M = 26.5, SD = 6.7 years; 71.7% men, 74.2% university students): Exercise Dependence Scale, Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire, Compulsive Buying Scale, Pathological Computer-Gaming Scale, Hypersexual Behavior Inventory, and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
7.8% of the sample were at-risk for EXD, 10.9% reported eating disorder pathology, 2.3% pathological buying, 3.1% hypersexual behavior, and none of the participants suffered from pathological video gaming. The criteria for severe alcohol disorder pathology (AUDIT ≥ 16) were fulfilled by 10.2%. With regard to continuous symptom scores, EXD symptoms were positively correlated with both eating disorder pathology and pathological buying but not with pathological video gaming, hypersexuality or alcohol use disorder. It is noteworthy that more symptoms of pathological buying corresponded with more symptoms of hypersexual behavior. The correlation pattern did not differ by gender.
The co-occurrence of EXD, pathological buying and hypersexual behavior on a subclinical level or in the early stage of the disorders should be taken into account when assessing and treating patients. More research is warranted in order to investigate possible interactions between these conditions.