Male and female pathological gamblers: Bet in a different way and show different mental disorders

Dominica Díez, Núria Aragay, Mercè Soms, Gemma Prat, Miquel Casas

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2014 Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Although in the last years several studies comparing male and female pathological gamblers have been published, most of them have been carried out using only samples of males. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in a sample of subjects diagnosed with pathological gambling (PG) attending three specialized outpatient units. Retrospective study was carried out of 96 patients (49% female and 51% male), comparing the main socio-demographic, clinical, and behavioral data. Most subjects (94%) met the criteria for pathological gambling. No significant differences between sexes were found in the severity of gambling behavior or the socio-demographic variables studied. Whereas slot machines were the main type of game for most subjects, a higher percentage of women were addicted to bingo (χ2 (1, 4) = 5.19, p =.029 Cohen's d = 0.48) and had more than one type of game as a secondary addiction χ2 (1, 4) = 7.63, p =.006; Cohen's d = 0.59). Women started gambling at a later age than men (t (94) = 2.95, p =.004; Cohen's d = 0.60), but developed a pattern of addiction faster ( t (94) = 2.95, p =.004; Cohen's d = -0.61). Women also had higher comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders (χ2 (1) = 7.28, p =.007; Cohen's d = 0.57), specifically with affective (χ2 (1) = 11.31, p =.001; Cohen's d = 0.73) and personality disorders (χ2 (1) = 4.71, p =.030; Cohen's d = 0.45). Our results indicate the existence of differences between women and men in the pattern of gambling behavior and in psychiatric comorbidity. These aspects should be considered in the design of treatment programs for pathological gamblers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE101
JournalSpanish Journal of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2014


  • gambling behavior
  • gender
  • pathological gambling
  • psychiatric comorbidity
  • retrospective study


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