The purpose of this investigation was to shed light on the temperament and early life experiences of people suffering from kleptomania. Twelve outpatients (five men [41.6%]; seven women [58.3%]; mean age, 39.6 ± 11.0 years) who met DSM-IV criteria for kleptomania and had no other axis I disorders by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) completed the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Patients with kleptomania had significantly higher novelty-seeking scores (P = .001), higher harm-avoidance scores (P = .005), and lower reward-dependence scores (P = .023) than normal controls. The kleptomania subjects had significantly lower maternal and paternal care scores, and lower maternal protection scores, than the normative values (P < .05). Neither TPQ nor PBI scores correlated with illness severity. These findings suggest that an understanding of early parenting behavior and a dimensional approach to the personality of kleptomaniacs may offer insight into this disorder and provide clues to treatment strategies.