Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Daniel W. KlyceEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9198


Shoplifting; Theft

Short Description or Definition

Kleptomania is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) by a pattern of behavior involving recurrent inability to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their material value. The theft is preceded by a buildup of tension then followed by a sense of pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of the act of stealing. The theft is typically not premediated (i.e., it is impulsive) and is not part of a collaboration with others. The disorder is distinguished from ordinary theft which is motivated by the usefulness or value of the object stolen.


The disorder is classified with the disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders in DSM-5.

Current Knowledge

Development and Course

Kleptomania is exceedingly rare in the general population (0.3–0.6%); however, it may be present in 4–24% of...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Grant, J. E., & Potenza, M. N. (2008). Gender-related differences in individuals seeking treatment for Kleptomania. CNS Spectrums, 13(3), 235–245.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Grant, J. E., Odlaug, B. L., & Kim, S. W. (2010). Kleptomania: Clinical characteristics and relationship to substance use disorders. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36, 291–295.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth University – School of MedicineRichmondUSA