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  1. Carolynn S. Kohn,
  2. Derek D. Szafranski

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0488

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Kohn, C. S. and Szafranski, D. D. 2010. Kleptomania. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Kleptomania is currently defined as an impulse control disorder in which the essential feature is a recurring failure on the part of the individual to resist impulses to steal items, even though those items are not needed for personal use or their monetary value. The individual experiences an increasing sense of tension just prior to the theft and then a release of pressure, gratification, or relief after successfully completing the theft. In order to receive the diagnosis, the stealing should not be committed as an expression of anger or vengeance, should not be done in response to delusions or hallucinations, and cannot better be accounted for by another disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Thus, the individual's intention prior to and following stealing is important.


  • impulse control;
  • addiction;
  • theft;
  • stealing