An Update on Gender Differences in the Characteristics Associated with Problem Gambling: a Systematic Review
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- Merkouris, S.S., Thomas, A.C., Shandley, K.A. et al. Curr Addict Rep (2016) 3: 254. doi:10.1007/s40429-016-0106-y
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Purpose of Review
Identifying and understanding gender differences associated with the development, maintenance and consequences of problem gambling has important implications for improving prevention and treatment interventions. The current paper systematically reviews the most recent evidence (2012–2015) examining gender differences in the prevalence of problem gambling and the characteristics associated with problem gambling.
Twenty-nine articles, including treatment-seeking and community representative adult and adolescent samples, were included. Males were typically more likely than females to be either at-risk or problem gamblers, although this finding may be an artefact of other characteristics, such as preferred gambling activity. There was consistent evidence that male problem gambling was associated with impulsivity, substance and alcohol use, while female problem gambling was associated with unemployment, psychological distress and childhood abuse.
The majority of findings, however, were mixed or limited by the small number of studies, highlighting the need for further gender-sensitive research to improve prevention and intervention approaches.