Brief communications: Gender differences in gambling progression

Abstract

The authors compared 39 women and 38 men entering an outpatient treatment program for pathological gambling. They were diagnosed according to DSM-IV and selected by SOGS, followed by a semi-structured interview for demography and progression of the gambling behavior prior to treatment. Women were more often single (59% vs. 26%; p = .005) and started gambling significantly later than men (34.2 vs. 20.4 years; p < .001). The progression of the disorder was more than 2 times faster in women than in men. There was no difference in the age of seeking treatment (44.7 vs. 42.3 years). Findings from this study resemble gender differences in other addictions—in particular the faster progression among women—challenge pharmacodynamic hypotheses for this phenomenon, and suggest gender into account when devising treatment strategies for pathological gambling.

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