Gender differences in pathological gamblers seeking medication treatment

Jon E. Grant, Suck W Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations


Gender differences in pathological gambling disorder (PGD) have received little investigation. This study was constructed to detail the demographic and phenomenological differences in men and women with PGD. We assessed gender differences in 131 subjects with PGD who were evaluated in terms of demographic characteristics, clinical features of PGD, and treatment history. Seventy-eight (60%) subjects were women, and 53 (40%) were men. Men had an earlier age of onset of gambling behavior, while women progressed to pathological gambling sooner after beginning to gamble. In terms of gambling behavior, men were more likely to engage in blackjack, cards, sporting events, and the track, whereas women played slot machines and bingo. Women reported that loneliness was the major trigger to gambling, while men were more likely to gamble secondary to sensory stimuli. Although men were as likely as women to have filed bankruptcy because of gambling, women were more likely to have written bad checks and men were more likely to have lost significant savings. Both groups were equally likely to seek treatment, but Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and outpatient therapy were reported equally ineffective in reducing gambling symptoms. There appear to be some gender differences in the clinical features of PGD, and these differences may have treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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