Pathological gambling and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that pathological gambling can be classified as an Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorder, the Padua Inventory was administered to 40 diagnosed pathological gamblers and a control group of 40 normal subjects. Analysis showed that the pathological gamblers obtained a significantly higher mean total score on obsessionality than controls. Elevated scores on two factors reflecting impaired control of mental activities and loss of motor control contributed to the over-all difference. In the context of other research suggesting pathological gamblers would score high on psychometric measures of impulsivity, this study provides preliminary support for a Spectrum Disorder Model, suggesting that pathological gamblers are characterised by elevated scores on traits of 'impulsivity' and 'obsessionality.'

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