Suicidal behavior in patients with gambling disorder and their response to psychological treatment: The roles of gender and gambling preference

Eduardo Valenciano-Mendoza, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Roser Granero, Mónica Gómez-Peña, Laura Moragas, Amparo del Pino-Gutierrez, Bernat Mora-Maltas, Isabel Baenas, Elías Guillén-Guzmán, Susana Valero-Solís, Milagros Lizbeth Lara-Huallipe, Ester Codina, Gemma Mestre-Bach, Mikel Etxandi, José M. Menchón, Susana Jiménez-Murcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Suicidal ideation and attempts are prevalent among patients with gambling disorder (GD). However, patients with GD and a history of lifetime suicidal events are not a homogeneous group. The main objective of this study was to compare sociodemographic, clinical, personality, and psychopathological features among different profiles of adults with GD with and without a history of suicidal behavior, taking into account two relevant variables: gender and gambling preference. The second aim was to examine how the different profiles of patients with a history of suicidal events responded to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). A total of 1112 treatment-seeking adults who met the criteria for GD were assessed at a hospital specialized unit for the treatment of behavioral addictions. The participants completed self-reported questionnaires to explore GD, personality traits, and psychopathological symptomatology. The lifetime histories of suicidal ideation and attempts, and gambling preferences, were assessed during semi-structured face-to-face clinical interviews. Of the total sample, 229 patients (26.6%) reported suicidal ideation and 74 patients (6.7%), suicide attempts. The likelihood of presenting suicidal ideation was higher for women than men, but no differences were observed based on gambling preference. Regarding suicide attempts, the odds were higher among women with non-strategic forms of gambling. Suicidal ideation and attempts were associated with higher GD severity, a worse psychopathological state and higher self-transcendence levels. In terms of treatment outcomes, neither gambling preference nor past suicidal behavior had an influence on dropouts and relapses. Nevertheless, female gender and a lack of family support constitute two good predictors of a worse treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Gambling disorder
  • Gambling preference
  • Gender
  • Suicide
  • Treatment outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Personality
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Gambling/epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive
  • Female


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