Italian validation of the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI): psychometric characteristics of a self-report tool evaluating a psychopathological facet of sexual behavior

Giacomo Ciocca 1,2, Filippo M. Nimbi 1, Erika Limoncin 2, Daniele Mollaioli 2, Daniela Marchetti 3, Maria Cristina Verrocchio 3, Chiara Simonelli 1, Emmanuele A. Jannini 2, Lilybeth Fontanesi 3

1 Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; 2 Chair of Endocrinology & Medical Sexology (ENDOSEX), Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Psychological, Health, and Territorial Sciences, “G. D’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy

Introduction

Hypersexuality is characterized by excess of sexual activities, obsession of sex and related consequences. On the other hand, the assessment of problematic sexuality includes several psychometric tools to screen hypersexual behavior. Hypersexual Behavior Inventory is one of these, although its Italian version is not current available. 

Objectives

Therefore, we aim to validate the Italian version of the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI) in a sample of Italian people.

Methods

A study population composed by a convenience sample of 1000 subjects (females: 71.1%) aged 18-60 was recruited from an online platform. Sociodemographic information was collected and a psychometric protocol composed by the Italian version of Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI) to assess hypersexuality, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) for anxiety and Relationship Questionnaire for Attachment Styles (RQ) was administered.

Results

The analysis of internal consistency of HBI showed Cronbach’s α coefficients in overall and subscales ranged from 0.81 to 0.92. In the confirmatory analysis fit indices were: c²/df = 5.951, SRMR = .046, CFI =.92, RMSEA =.070, suggesting a good fit. Positive correlations were found among the three subscales coping factor, control factor and consequences factor, and all these subscales positively correlated with the total score of HBI (Pearson r coefficients ranged from .526 to .883; p-values < .0001). Discriminant validity revealed significant Pearson r correlations ranged from -.086 to .407. 

Conclusions

Hypersexuality represents the tip of the iceberg of a more severe condition of psychological suffering. For this reason, the evaluation of hypersexual behavior is fundamental for subjects with a dysfunctional sexuality, and HBI offers a satisfactory evaluation of this phenomenon in all its facets. Moreover, on the basis of psychometric characteristics, HBI can be considered an efficient tool to accurately detect and circumscribe the hypersexual behavior in vulnerable people suffering from psychological and sexological issues, also among Italian population.

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