Pathological and disordered gambling: A comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-V criteria


The proposed revision of the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling within the DSM suggests removing the criterion of committing illegal acts and reducing the threshold to four symptoms. It has been argued that changing the diagnostic criteria will not impact the prevalence rate of pathological gambling, however there are no published studies examining prevalence rate stability. The impact of the proposed DSM-V criteria using data from a national study assessing gambling behaviors among college student-athletes was examined. Comparison of pathological or disordered gamblers vs sub-threshold gambling severity using current DSM-IV criteria and the proposed DSM-V diagnostic criteria suggests that the proportion of men classified as pathological or disordered gamblers changes. For females, comparisons did not reach statistical significance. The subcommittee of the DSM-V should note that the proportion of males meeting the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling may be influenced by classification system. Questions related to the validity of the proposed classification system are raised.

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