Three Diagnoses for Problematic Hypersexuality: Which Criteria Predict Help-Seeking Behavior?

Piet van Tuijl*, Aerjen Tamminga, Gert-Jan Meerkerk, Peter Verboon, Ruslan Leontjevas, Jacques van Lankveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to assess the best combination of indicators of problematic hypersexuality (PH), in a survey (n = 58,158) targeting individuals wondering if they were sex addicted. The survey allowed for testing of criteria from three theoretical models used to conceptualize PH. Factor analyses for women and men yielded an interpretable grouping of indicators consisting of four factors. In subsequent logistic regressions, these factors were used as predictors for experiencing the need for help for PH. The factors Negative Effects and Extreme positively predicted experiencing the need for help, with Negative Effects as the most important predictor for both women and men. This factor included, among others, withdrawal symptoms and loss of pleasure. The Sexual Desire factor negatively predicted the need for help, suggesting that for the targeted population more sexual desire leads to less PH. The Coping factor did not predict experiencing the need for help. Outcomes show that a combination of indicators from different theoretical models best indicates the presence of PH. Therefore, a measurement instrument to assess existence and severity of PH should consist of such a combination. Theoretically, this study suggests that a more comprehensive model for PH is needed, surpassing existing conceptualizations of PH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6907
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020


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