Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 501–512 | Cite as

Clinical and Personality Characteristics Associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Problem and Pathological Gamblers Recruited from the Community

  • David M. Ledgerwood
  • Aleks Milosevic
Original Paper


Problem and pathological gamblers (PPGs) are more likely than the general population to experience co-occurring psychiatric problems. However, the problem gambling literature has largely overlooked the importance of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a prevalent co-occurring condition among PPGs. This study examined clinical differences between PPGs with and without a history of co-occurring PTSD. Lifetime PPGs (N = 150) recruited from community sources completed clinical assessments including measures of problem gambling severity, co-occurring psychiatric conditions, gambling motivations and personality traits. Over 19 % of the participants met criteria for a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD. Those presenting with PTSD histories were more likely to be women, and were more likely to have lifetime substance use disorder (abuse and/or dependence) and substance dependence, lifetime major depressive disorder, current dysthymic disorder, and lifetime and current anxiety disorder. Those with lifetime PTSD also were more likely to use gambling as a way to cope with negative emotions and experienced greater negative emotionality. Few PPGs (16 %) had ever sought treatment for their gambling problems. PTSD is a prevalent condition among individuals with lifetime PPG recruited from the community, and is associated with greater psychiatric co-morbidity among these populations. More research is needed to further understand the relationship between gambling and trauma, and better outreach is needed to encourage these individuals to seek treatment.


Post-traumatic stress disorder Trauma Gambling disorder Psychiatric co-morbidity 



Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre supported this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Interpersonal RelationshipsOttawaCanada

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