, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 38-47

Altering the DSM-III criteria for pathological gambling

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Abstract

Following a critique and revision of the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling in DSM-III, a field trial of the revised criteria was conducted. Four groups of individuals (762 in all) were surveyed: Gamblers Anonymous members, college students, hospital employees, and outpatients in treatment for pathological gambling. The revised criteria were found to discriminate effectively between pathological gamblers and others. In order to refine the cutoff point, the results on the DSM-III revision were compared to the South Oaks Gambling Screen, a valid, reliable instrument for screening pathological gamblers (Lesieur & Blume, 1987). A cutoff point of four or more items was found to be optimal in diagnosing pathological gamblers.

This research was funded by the South Oaks Foundation, Amityville, New York. Special thanks are given Sheila Blume, M.D., Julian I. Taber, Ph.D. and Robert L. Custer, M.D. for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.