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Gender differences in psychiatric comorbidity and treatment-seeking among gamblers in treatment

James R. Westphal, Lera Joyce Johnson


Objectives: To assess the effects of gender on comorbid problems and treatment-seeking among gamblers in treatment and the effects of comorbid problems on participants' gambling

Method: Participants completed a survey on comorbid problems and the effects of comorbid problems on their gambling

Sample: Seventy-eight adults (40 males, 38 females) enrolled in state-supported outpatient programs or Gamblers Anonymous

Results: The majority of participants (53%) had multiple comorbid problems and 38.5% said they had a comorbid problem related to their gambling. Eleven different types of comorbid problems were reported. Females had significantly more comorbid problems than males; females reported problem drinking and both genders reported that depression increased the severity of their gambling problems.

Conclusion: Patterns of comorbid problems and treatment-seeking are consistent with well-known gender differences in health behaviors. Clinicians involved in gambling treatment may wish to assess for depressive syndromes and problem drinking and investigate their interaction with their patient's gambling.


comorbidity; alcohol; gamblers; gender; treatment; career length; depression

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