Trans-diagnostic measurement of impulsivity and compulsivity: A review of self-report tools

Roxanne W. Hook, Jon E. Grant, Konstantinos Ioannidis, Jeggan Tiego, Murat Yücel, Paul Wilkinson, Samuel R. Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Impulsivity and compulsivity are important constructs, relevant to understanding behaviour in the general population, as well as in particular mental disorders (e.g. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder). The current paper provides a narrative review of self-report impulsivity and compulsivity scales. Methods: A literature search was conducted using the following terms: (“impulsivity” OR “compulsivity”) AND (“self-report” OR “questionnaire” OR “psychometric” OR “scale”). Results: 25 impulsive and 11 compulsive scales were identified, which varied considerably in psychometric properties, convenience, and validity. For impulsivity, the most commonly used scales were the BIS and the UPPS-P, whilst for compulsivity, the Padua Inventory was commonly used. The majority of compulsivity scales measured OCD symptoms (obsessions and compulsions) rather than being trans-diagnostic or specific to compulsivity (as opposed to obsessions). Scales capable of overcoming these limitations were highlighted. Discussion: This review provides clarity regarding relative advantages and disadvantages of different scales relevant to the measurement of impulsivity and compulsivity in many contexts. Areas for further research and refinement are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Compulsivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Phenotype
  • Questionnaire
  • Review
  • Self-report
  • Trans-diagnostic
  • Transdiagnostic

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