Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 215–227 | Cite as

Clinical Gender Differences Among Adult Pathological Gamblers Seeking Treatment

  • Enrique EcheburúaEmail author
  • Itxaso González-Ortega
  • Paz de Corral
  • Rocío Polo-López
Original Paper


This study aimed to examine the gender-related differences in demographics, gambling measures, psychological functioning, and motivation for therapy in an outpatient sample of pathological gamblers seeking treatment. Participants in this multisite study included 103 adult outpatients (51 women and 52 men) meeting current DSM-IV-TR criteria for PG. Logistic regression was used to examine if gender was related together to categorical and continuous independent variables. Female gamblers were older than men and more likely to be divorced or widowed and to have a lower annual income. Women became more dependent on bingo and men on slot machines. Gambling motivation and the course of illness for both sexes were also different. Female gamblers were more anxious and with a poorer self-esteem than male gamblers and more affected by depressive symptoms; in turn, men were more impulsive and higher sensation seekers than women and more affected by drug/alcohol abuse. The 68.6% of female gamblers reported being victims of intimate partner violence. There were no gender differences about the motivation for treatment. Future research should examine gambling behaviors and psychological functioning and suggest treatment approaches to address specific goals according to these gender-related differences.


Pathological gambling Gender differences Mental health Psychosocial factors Intimate partner violence 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Innovation (Code PSI2008-03718). The authors express their appreciation to Beatriz Yubero, Lorena Pidal, Beatriz Alonso and Damas Salesianas (Ekintza Dasalud, Rentería); Mercè Soms (Hospital Santa Caterina, Girona); Dominica Díez Marcet (Divisió de Salut Mental-Althaia, Manresa); Nuria Aragay (Servicio de Psiquiatría del Hospital de Tarrasa, Barcelona); Rocío Fonseca and Estíbaliz Rodríguez (Ekintza Aluviz, Baracaldo); Idoia Axpe, Ana Herrezuelo and Raquel Beltrán de Heredia (Asajer, Vitoria); Carlos Caso and Natalia Mendiola (Servicio de Alcoholismo y de Ludopatía de Osakidetza, Vitoria); Koldo Basterra (Hospital Psiquiátrico de Álava, Vitoria); Ana Ruiz (Aralar, Pamplona); José Vicente Marín (Azajer, Zaragoza); and Montse Gómez (Barcelona).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrique Echeburúa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Itxaso González-Ortega
    • 2
  • Paz de Corral
    • 2
  • Rocío Polo-López
    • 2
  1. 1.CIBERSAM and Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of the Basque CountrySan SebastiánSpain
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of the Basque CountrySan SebastiánSpain

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