Background and aims: It has been suggested that compulsivity has an essential role in gambling disorder (GD), yet there is a lack of literature exploring the link between GD, compulsivity and gender. Our main aim was to explore gender differences between two of the neurocognitive domains of compulsivity (attentional set-shifting and attentional bias and disengagement) in patients with GD and compare them with healthy controls (HCs). Methods: The sample included 57 treatment-seeking adults with GD and 60 HCs recruited from the general population. Results: The pairwise comparisons showed a worse attentional set-shifting performance in women with GD than in men (total trials (p = 0.042, |d| = 0.56), perseverative responses (p = 0.001, |d| = 0.89), trails to complete the first category (p = 0.001, |d| = 0.78) and categories completed (p = 0.001, |d| = 0.98. Also, men with GD presented higher difficulties than HC men in the two assessed compulsivity domains (attentional bias and disengagement and attentional set-shifting; Stroop interference (p = 0.015, |d| = 0.11), TMT-B (p = 0.041, |d| = 1.96) and lower scores for the WCST perseverative responses (p = 0.007, |d| = 0.78), whereas the differences observed in women with GD and HCs were most significantly in attentional set-shifting. Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence of gender compulsivity differences in GD. The results are relevant for improving current treatments by targeting specific compulsivity domains that can lead to more successful treatment options.
|Original language||American English|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2021|
- Attentional bias/disengagement
- Attentional set-shifting
- Gambling disorder