Title

Empirical Identification of Psychological Symptom Subgroups of Sex Addicts: An Application of Latent Profile Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2016

School

Psychology

Abstract

The current study utilized latent profile analysis (LPA) to uncover discrete classes of sex addicts based upon psychological symptom profiles. An LPA was conducted with sex addicts in residential treatment (N = 222, 95.5% male, 92.3% Caucasian), using scores from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) as indicators of class membership. The LPA yielded evidence for 5 latent classes in this sample of sex addicts. Based upon class average PAI scale profiles, the following labels for the classes were suggested: Class 1—No Comorbid Psychopathology (22.8% of the sample), Class 2—Dysfunctional Negative Emotions (14.9%), Class 3—Mild Depression and Substance-Related Problems (38.1%), Class 4—Clinical Depression and Anxiety (18.8%), and Class 5—Severe Psychopathology (5.6%). It is noteworthy that Classes 1 and 2 (37.7% of the sample), had PAI profiles that were not clinically significant, and thus are unlikely to have other disorders, whereas the mean PAI scores for Classes 4 and 5 indicate that members of these classes are highly likely to present with other diagnosable psychological disorders, especially mood and anxiety disorders. Class 3 is somewhere in between, with likely clinically significant issues with depression, anxiety, and substance-related problems, but which may be in the subthreshold range for a comorbid diagnosis. The results highlight the importance of broad-band psychological assessment to facilitate treatment planning for sex addicts.

Publication Title

Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity

Volume

23

Issue

1

First Page

34

Last Page

55

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