1 June 2013
Hair pulling is a common body focused repetitive behavior. The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of impulse control disorders (as defined in DSM-IV-TR) in a non-treatment seeking sample of hair pullers.
1,717 college students with ( n = 44) and without ( n = 1673) hair pulling completed a mental health survey. The college students were sent an online survey assessing hair pulling behavior and other impulse control disorders using the Minnesota Impulsive Disorders Interview.
Students with hair pulling were significantly more likely to have a co-occurring impulse control disorder (20.5% vs. 8.9%, p = 0.009, OR = 2.71, CI = 1.28–5.75) and were significantly more likely to meet criteria for compulsive buying, compulsive sexual behavior and intermittent explosive disorder than students without hair pulling. Differences seemed to be moderated by the male gender among students with hair pulling.