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Psychol Rep. 1996 Apr;78(2):635-40.

Pathological gambling and depression.

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  • 1University of Santiago de Compostela, Facultad de Psicologia, Departantmento de Psicologia Clinica y Psicobiologia, Galicia, Spain.


A number of previous studies have indicated that pathological gambling is often associated with depression. Equally, a number of theoretical models of pathological gambling have included depression as a key variable. Here we report a study of depression in pathological gamblers identified within a random sample of 1,615 adults living in the major cities of Galicia (northwest Spain). Pathological gamblers were identified on DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Depression was evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory, subjects being classified 'depressive' if they obtained a score of 18 or more. Of 19 pathological gamblers who completed the Beck Depression Inventory, 21% were depressive; by contrast, only 9% of the other subjects were depressive. The Beck scores of pathological gamblers were positively correlated with the severity of their addiction as indicated by the number of DSM-IV-specified symptoms reported.

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