Impulse-control Disorder Coursework Sample

Posted on October 3, 2023

Paper Instructions

Academic level – Graduate
Type of paper – Coursework
Topic Title – Impulse-control disorder

Synthesize the empirical literature that you identified about the disorder that you selected and address the following questions:

The disorder selected is “Impulse-Control” Search the internet for a minimum of ” 5 peer-reviewed articles” related to the disorder that you selected. ( Impulse -Control )

  1. Describe the disorder that you selected.
  2. What are the DSM-5 criteria for the disorder that you selected?
  3. What are the forensic psychological aspects of this disorder? (e.g., how does it relate to criminal behavior, forensic assessment, criminal sentencing, and probation, etc.)
  4. What are the potential consequences of this disorder when left untreated?
  5. What are the best practices for screening and intervention for this disorder?
  6. How has the diagnostic criterion for the disorder evolved over time (i.e., historical perspectives)? Please use references pertaining to the assignment. No Plagiarism !!!

Coursework Sample

Impulse-control disorder is a complex cognitive condition the central element of which is one’s addiction to a harmful action. It is possible to define the analyzed disorder as behaviors and unconditional urges to actions harmful to the individual with the disorder and others that undermine occupational functioning (Schreiber, Odlaug, & Grant, 2011). There are four characteristics of impulse-control behavior. The first is the repetitive or compulsive engagement in a threatening behavior disregarding the consequences. The second element is one’s minimized control over the adverse behavior. The third aspect is the impulse or urge to come back to the harmful behavior (Schreiber, Odlaug, & Grant, 2011). The last element is receiving a hedonic quality of satisfaction when one adheres to the threatening behavior. The instances of impulse-control disorder are kleptomania and pyromania. Hence, impulse-control disorder is one’s compulsive addiction to a dangerous behavior disregarding its consequences.

When analyzing the DSM-5 specification of impulse-control disorder, its major aspects involve a feeling of pleasure, addiction to the cognitive impulse, and an obtrusive temptation. The aspect of obtrusive temptation represents one’s continuous circulation of thoughts relevant to the harmful behavior and the feeling of pleasure they will receive afterward. According to Boralingaiah et al., impulse-control disorder consists of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), and disruptive behavior disorder, according to its DSM-5 specification (2022, p. 1). Oppositional defiant disorder presents a hostile human attitude toward peers, authorities, etc. The conduct disorder is the disregard for others. Disruptive behavior disorder represents that a person has a persistent pattern of adverse behavior (Boralingaiah et al., 2022). Therefore, the DSM-5 for impulse-control disorder is the presence of a pattern of deviant behavior characterized by the feeling of pleasure.

The forensic psychological aspects of impulse-control disorder are controversial in the point of criminal sentencing and probation. The reason for the controversy emerges in the individual’s motive and response to the impulse of unpleasant behavior when referring to criminal behavior. The reason is that the punishment can be applied only when the person has the cognitive power to make a choice of whether to go into criminal behavior or not. According to Penney, M’Naghten’s moral rule applies to impulse-control disorder if the person realizes the wrongfulness of their misdeed but cannot suppress the impulse, which means that they will not be sentenced (2012). From this perspective, probation represents a forensic assessment tool, aiming to interlink the psychological, criminal, and sociological perspectives to eliminate the offender’s behavior. Following M’Naghten’s moral rule, Ho specifies that probation serves as a collaboration in the judiciary where the offender goes into rehabilitation to realize their behavior and build impulse-coping mechanisms (2020). Hence, impulse-control disorder is a controversial condition in forensics.

If the impulse-control disorder is not treated, the consequence will be the loss of one’s self-care. The principal reason is that the identified disorder promotes the escalation and severity of the impulses to conduct the unpleasant behavior leading the person to emotional exhaustion. As the duration of impulses increases, the person will likely go into alcohol or drug addiction to combat the impulse (Kiepek & Magalhães, 2012). The social consequences will include the loss of a job, negligence to self-care, and personal isolation. Hence, if not treated, the impulse-control disorder provokes addiction and leads to one’s loss of their social life.

There is limited information on the effective screening and intervention tools for impulse-control disorder. The Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview (MIDI), the Quality of Life Inventory (QOLI), and the Barratt questionnaire (version 11) represent available tools for screening. MIDI represents a self-reported questionnaire and interview with a professional ranker on impulsivity (Chamberlain & Grant, 2018). QOLI analyzes the quality of life based on the frequency of one’s impulsivity. The Barratt questionnaire analyzes one’s motor impulsiveness, non-planning impulsiveness, and attentional impulsiveness (Chamberlain & Grant, 2018). Regarding the intervention strategies available, rehabilitation is the present functioning strategy. Rehabilitation relates to the human process of building resistance skills and impulse-coping techniques as counterproductive impulses to the harmful behavior. Nevertheless, the identified intervention is limited as it utilizes a top-down approach with the person, which makes them a test object instead of ensuring bilateral and multilateral collaborations (Ho, 2020). Therefore, impulse-control disorder has a limited set of screening and intervention strategies.

The diagnostic criteria for impulse-control disorder evolved from checking one’s motives to assessing the quality of life. Impulse-control disorder was presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992 and the major criteria for diagnosis were impulsivity in actions, unreasonability in one’s motives, and inability to control the adverse behavior (Bink et al., 2020). For combating the disorder, dopaminergic medication was used. Nevertheless, the further diagnosis criterion for the disorder in terms of medication was the personal proclivity to dopamine dysregulation syndrome if they showed signs of impulsive use of levodopa (Binck et al., 2020). Finally, lifestyle and one’s response to stress became additional environment-related criteria to diagnose the disorder presented in the QOLI tool as the scholars questioned whether social interactions and conditions can provoke and intensify impulse-control behavior (Chamberlain & Grant, 2018). Therefore, the diagnosis criteria for the impulse-control disorder are continuously evolving by showing new paradigms in its presentation.


Binck, S. et al. (2020). Contributing factors and evolution of impulse control disorder in the Luxembourg Parkinson Cohort. Frontiers in Neurology, 11, 1-7.

Boralingaiah, P. et al. (2022). An unusual presentation of impulse control disorder: A case report. Psychiatry Research Case Reports. 1-2.

Chamberlain, S., & Grant, J. (2018). Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview (MIDI): Validation of a structured diagnostic clinical interview for impulse control disorders in an enriched community sample. Psychiatry Research. 279-283.

Ho, D. (2020). Impulse control disorder: A pilot study of the difficulties for rehabilitation. International Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, 6(1), 1-5.

Kiepek, N., & Magalhães, L. (2011). Addictions and impulse-control disorders as occupation: A selected literature review and synthesis. Journal of Occupational Science, 254-276.

Penney, S. (2012). Impulse control and criminal responsibility: Lessons from neuroscience. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 35(2), 99-103.

Schreiber, L., Odlaug, B., & Grant, J. (2011). Impulse control disorders: updated review of clinical characteristics and pharmacological management. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2(1), 1-11. 10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00001.

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