The Family Functioning of Female Pathological Gamblers

  • Nicki Dowling
  • David Smith
  • Trang Thomas


The available evidence suggests that pathological gambling significantly disrupts family relationships and has a substantial impact on family members. However, these conclusions are based almost exclusively on male pathological gamblers and their female spouses or partners. The current study, which was a secondary study derived from a treatment outcome study for female pathological gamblers, surveyed three samples with the aim to evaluate (1) the quality of the dyadic and family relationships of treatment-seeking female pathological gamblers; (2) the psychological and relationship functioning of their spouses or partners; and (3) the psychological functioning of their children. Although the findings of this study revealed substantial dysfunction in the intimate and family relationships of female pathological gamblers, the partners and children of the female pathological gamblers in this study did not display elevated rates of psychological dysfunction. It is evident that female-specific research and direct gender comparisons are warranted in this area of research.


Pathological gambling Problem gambling Partners Children Family Relationship functioning Psychological functioning Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Health SciencesRMIT UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.School of Health SciencesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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