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Psychopathology in pathological gamblers seeking treatment

Abstract

High rates of psychiatric symptoms have been reported in pathological gamblers. This study of psychiatric comorbidity in pathological gamblers is the first to use structured psychiatric interviews assessing DSM-III-R Axis I and II disorders. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R (SCID-P, SCID-II) was administered to 40 (25 male, 15 male) pathological gamblers seeking outpatient treatment in Minnesota for gambling, and 64 (41 male, 23 female) controls. High lifetime rates of Axis I (92%) but not Axis II (25%) psychopathology were found in pathological gamblers as compared to controls. No differences between male and female gamblers were found in rates of affective, substance use or personality disorders. Females had higher rates of anxiety disorders and histories of physical/sexual abuse. Possible associations between psychiatric disorders and pathological gambling are discussed along with gambler typologies and implications for future research.

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Correspondence to Sheila M. Specker M.D..

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The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of: Gary Christenson, M.D., Carol Peterson, Ph.D., William Meller, M.D., Thomas Mackenzie, M.D.

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Specker, S.M., Carlson, G.A., Edmonson, K.M. et al. Psychopathology in pathological gamblers seeking treatment. J Gambling Stud 12, 67–81 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01533190

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Keywords

  • Psychiatric Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Clinical Interview
  • Personality Disorder
  • Psychiatric Symptom