Characteristics of Treatment Seeking Problem Gamblers with Adult ADHD

  • Rory C. Reid
  • Michael Campos
  • Noelle Selochan
  • Timothy W. Fong
Original Article


The present study investigates characteristics of treatment seeking problem gamblers with adult ADHD (n = 39) and those without ADHD (n = 87). Patients completed self-report questionnaires about gambling behaviors, impulsivity (UPPS-P), substance abuse (AUDIT/DAST), emotional dysregulation (PHQ-4), illegal activities, and gambling consequences. Each patient received a structured diagnostic interview (MINI) to assess for psychopathology, adult ADHD (ACDS), and gambling disorder (NODS). Results revealed that problem gamblers with adult ADHD encounter unique challenges above those common among problem gamblers including more problems with alcohol/drug abuse and higher levels of impulsivity. Earlier age for first gambling activities, onset of gambling problems, and higher severity of gambling problems was found among gamblers with ADHD. Gamblers with ADHD pawned more items to obtain money for gambling, were more likely to have debt, had significantly higher rates of bankruptcy and domestic violence arising from conflict with family members about their gambling. Interestingly, groups did not differ significantly on their time spent gambling prior to treatment, their win-to-loss ratio, and a number of other gambling-related consequences. These findings are discussed with their clinical ramifications for treatment.


Gambling disorder Gambling addiction ADHD Impulsivity Pathological gambling 



Financial support for this study was provided in part from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Office of Problem Gambling, California Department of Public Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rory C. Reid
    • 1
  • Michael Campos
    • 1
  • Noelle Selochan
    • 2
  • Timothy W. Fong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Florida Council on Compulsive GamblingSanfordUSA

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