Comorbidity of impulse control disorders in pathological gamblers

Jon E. Grant, Suck W Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the rate of impulse control disorders among pathological gamblers and examine the relationship of comorbidity to gambling severity. Method: Ninety-six adult pathological gamblers [mean age: 46.7 ± 11.0 years; female: 44 (45.8%)] completed the following: Minnesota Impulsive Disorders Interview, Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Pathological Gambling, and Gambling Symptom Assessment Scale. Results: Twenty-two subjects (22.9%) reported a comorbid impulse control disorder, most commonly compulsive sexual behaviour and compulsive buying. Subjects with comorbidity reported significantly greater intensity of urges (t = -2.021; df = 94; P = 0.046) and thoughts (t = -2. 147; df = 42.3; P = 0.038) related to gambling, and greater interference (t = -3.913; df = 48.1; P < 0.001) and distress (t = -2.504; df = 52.7; P = 0.015) secondary to gambling urges and thoughts. Conclusion: Impulse control disorders appear common among pathological gamblers and are associated with more severe gambling symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Comorbidity
  • Gambling
  • Impulse control disorders


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