Gender Differences in Pathological Gambling
J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(3):295-301
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Background: To determine the differences in
clinical presentation, gambling behavior, and psychiatric
comorbidity of male and female treatment-seeking pathological
Method: Sixty-nine consecutive individuals with
DSM-IV pathological gambling (47 men and 22 women) applying to a
specialized outpatient treatment program were evaluated with
structured interviews, self-report questionnaires, and
Results: Sixty-seven percent of men (N = 26)
versus 25% of women (N = 5) had been exposed to gambling in
adolescence. Women had a later age at first bet and a faster
evolution of the disorder. Female pathological gamblers were more
likely to play bingo, whereas men tended to prefer slot machines.
Male and female pathological gamblers had similar gambling
severity and overall rates of psychiatric comorbidity. However,
male pathological gamblers had higher rates of alcohol
abuse/dependence and antisocial personality disorder, whereas
women had higher rates of affective disorders and history of
Conclusion: There are substantial gender
differences in the clinical presentation and comorbidity of
pathological gambling. These gender differences should be
incorporated in the selection and planning of treatment for