Recreational gamblers with and without parental addiction

Liana Renée Nelson Schreiber, Brian Lawrence Odlaug, Jon Edgar Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Research has found that children who have parents with an addiction may be more vulnerable to developing psychopathology compared to children without parental addiction. We compared young adult, recreational gamblers with and without parental addiction on measures of gambling behavior and impulsivity. A total of 286 recreational gamblers (defined as having gambled at least five times in the past 12. months) between the ages of 18 and 29 participated in an initial intake of a longitudinal study assessing susceptibility to pathological gambling. Trained staff members interviewed subjects, and subjects completed cognitive testing and self-report measures. Fifty-three subjects (18.53%) reported at least one parent with an addiction (including alcohol and substance dependence and pathological gambling). Subjects with at least one addicted parent were significantly more likely to report problems resulting from gambling, have significantly greater rates of psychiatric comorbidity, and report significantly more current marijuana and tobacco use. Subjects with an addicted parent were not significantly different on measures of impulsivity. These findings suggest that even at a stage of low-risk gambling, before what has been considered a psychopathology arises, those with a possible environmental and/or genetic risk of addiction exhibit a range of problematic behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 30 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by a Center for Excellence in Gambling Research grant from the National Center for Responsible Gaming and a research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( RC1-DA028279-01 ) to Dr. Grant. Dr. Grant has also received research grants from the University of South Florida and Psyadon Pharmaceuticals . Mr. Odlaug has received honoraria from Oxford University Press and Current Medicine Group, LLC. Ms. Schreiber reports no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Addiction
  • Family history
  • Pathological gambling
  • Psychopathology
  • Young adults


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