Crime, antisocial personality and pathological gambling
Cite this article as: Blaszczynski, A., McConaghy, N. & Frankova, A. J Gambling Stud (1989) 5: 137. doi:10.1007/BF01019760 Abstract
To investigate the hypothesized causal relationship between pathological gambling and gambling-related illegal behaviors, 77 patients seeking behavioral treatment for excessive gambling and 32 members of Gamblers Anonymous were administered a structured interview schedule. Data on the incidence, nature and extent of both gambling and non-gambling related illegal behaviors was obtained and DSM-III (A.P.A., 1980) criteria for Antisocial personality were used as the measure of sociopathy.
Of the sample, 54.1% admitted to a gambling related offense and 21.1% were charged. Results showed that 14.6% met DSM-III criteria for Antisocial Personality, Four subgroups were subsequently identified; gamblers who committed no offense (36.7%), gambling only offenses (40.4%), non-gambling only offenses (9.2%) or both gambling and non-gambling offenses (13.7%). Significantly more subjects from the gambling plus non-gambling related offenses subgroup were classified as antisocial personalities.
Of pathological gamblers who committed offenses, two thirds reportedly did so as a direct consequence of gambling induced problems. Subjects reporting gambling-only related offenses showed a significant increase in antisocial features after adolescence suggesting that antisocial features emerge as a secondary phenomenon to pathological gambling behavior patterns.
Acknowledgments: This study was made possible by a grant from the Criminology Research Council, Australian Institute of Criminology.
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