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J Psychiatr Res. 2008 Oct;42(13):1122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

The association between gambling pathology and personality disorders.

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  • 1George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA. psacco@gwbmail.wustl.edu

Abstract

Research supports increased risk of problem gambling (PG) and pathological gambling disorder (PGD) among individuals with substance abuse/dependence and psychiatric disorders, but studies considering personality disorder comorbidity have not adjusted for confounding relationships with other Axis I disorders. Using targeted advertising, we enrolled 153 gamblers (55% female; 32% minority; Mean age=47; SD=18.2) in a clinical validation study of the newly developed computerized gambling assessment module (C-GAM). For these analyses, we classified gamblers into three groups based on their endorsement of DSM-IV PGD: Non-gamblers (0 criteria; n=64; 44%); PG (1-4 criteria; n=60; 41%); and PGD (5-10 criteria; n=22; 15%). We evaluated PG and PGD risk associated with personality disorder pathology using the computerized structured clinical interview of DSM-IV Axis II (SCID-II). Using multinomial logistic regression, we found increased odds of PGD among individuals with greater symptoms of borderline personality disorder after adjusting for socio-demographics, substance abuse/dependence and other personality disorders significant at the bivariate level. Yet after adjusting for depressive symptoms, borderline personality disorder criteria were nonsignificant, suggesting a complex relationship between personality pathology, depression, and gambling. These findings bolster the position that further investigation is needed regarding the association of gambling pathology with personality disorders and depressive symptoms.

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