Parental bonding in subjects with pathological gambling disorder compared with healthy controls


The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-V) includes pathological gambling disorder (PGD) in the subgroup of "Addiction and Related Disorders" due to the similarities between PGD and substance-based addictions in neurobiological, psychological, and social risk factors. Family factors as parental rearing attitudes play a crucial role in the development of substance use disorders and PGD. The aim of the present study was to assess the parental bonding during childhood perceived for adults with PGD compared with healthy controls. Twenty males with PGD and 20 control subjects answered the parental bonding instrument, which measures subjects' recollections of parenting on dimensions of care and protection. Subjects with PGD showed significantly lower maternal and paternal care (p = 0.016 and p = 0.031, respectively) than controls, and higher paternal protection (p = 0.003). The most common parental pattern for PGD subjects was the affectionless control (50% for the father and 60% for the mother). Preliminary results suggest that, as previously reported for substance use disorders, an affectionless control parenting style is associated with PGD.

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