Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology

2010 Edition
| Editors: Ian P. Stolerman

Pathological Gambling

  • Christine A. Franco
  • Marc N. Potenza
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-68706-1_349



Pathological gambling (PG) is classified as an  impulse control disorder ( ICD) characterized by persistent and recurrent maladaptive  gambling behavior and resulting in impaired social and/or occupational functioning ( DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association 2000). An essential feature of ICDs is the diminished ability to resist drives or urges to perform behaviors that may be harmful; consistently, individuals with PG frequently score high on measures of impulsivity. While classified as an ICD, PG shares many similarities with substance dependence. Of the ten diagnostic criteria that characterize PG, four resemble symptoms commonly observed in  substance dependence including an intense preoccupation with gambling, repeated or unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down, and aspects of tolerance and withdrawal (American Psychiatric Association 2000). Other similarities...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA