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Sex Differences in Shoplifting: Results From a National Sample

Hoertel, Nicolas MD*; Dubertret, Caroline MD, PhD*†‡; Schuster, Jean-Pierre MD§; Le Strat, Yann MD*†‡

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: August 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 8 - p 728–733
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182613fbb
Brief Reports

This study presents the sex differences in sociodemographics and in psychiatric correlates of shoplifting in the United States. Data were drawn from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of US adults. Shoplifting was associated with numerous psychiatric and addictive disorders with significant sex effects. Women with a lifetime history of shoplifting were significantly more likely than men with a lifetime history of shoplifting to have a lifetime diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence, nicotine dependence, cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine, or inhalant use disorder, and antisocial personality disorder, whereas men were significantly more likely than women to have a lifetime diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. The findings suggest that shoplifting could be better understood as a behavioral manifestation of a broader impaired impulse control spectrum in women. Shoplifting could be more a part of the externalizing spectrum disorders rather than the internalizing spectrum disorders in women compared to men.

*Service de psychiatrie, Hôpital Louis Mourier, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Colombes; †Université Paris Diderot, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine Bichat-Lariboisière; ‡Centre Psychiatrie et Neurosciences, Inserm, U894, Université Paris Descartes; and §Service de psychiatrie, Hôpital Corentin-Celton, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Issy-les-Moulineaux; Université Paris Descartes, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.

Send reprint requests to Nicolas Hoertel, MD, Service de psychiatrie, Hôpital Louis Mourier, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), 178, rue des Renouillers, Colombes Cedex, France 92701. E-mail: nico.hoertel@yahoo.fr.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.