A twin study explored the possible genetic influences on gambling behavior. Male monozygotic (MZ) twins (n = 42) revealed significantly greater similarity on gambling frequency associated with "high-action" games than male dizygotic (DZ) twins (n = 50). The heritability estimates for involvement in these types of games among males were moderate and significant. All MZ versus DZ comparisons among males for "low-action" games were nonsignificant, as were MZ versus DZ comparisons among females (n = 63) for both types of games. The findings suggest that genetic influences may be important in the origins of certain types of gambling by men.
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Preparation of this article was supported by grants from the Viking Children's Fund and the Archie and Bertha Walker Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mike Nelson, Tara Buehl and Mary Winters in the data collection, and Paul Thuras and Matt McGue in the data analysis. Address correspondence to Ken C. Winters, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Box 393 UMHC, 420 Delaware St., SE, Minneapolis, MN55455.
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