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Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2005 Apr;2(4):34-42.

The vulnerable faces of pathological gambling.

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  • 1Dr. Fong is the Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Co-Director, UCLA Gambling Studies Program, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, Los Angeles, California.


Pathological gambling is an emerging psychiatric disorder that has medical, psychiatric, and social consequences. Recently, research has been focusing on identifying which portions of the population are most vulnerable to developing problems related to ongoing gambling. Specific populations of interest have included adolescents, elderly, minorities, those with comorbid psychiatric or substance use disorders, and gender differences. Each group possesses unique biological, psychological, and/or social characteristics that confer a vulnerability to develop pathological gambling behaviors. Being able to recognize those who are at risk to become pathological gamblers is the first step toward developing effective prevention and early intervention programs. This is Part Two of a three-part series on pathological gambling. Part One appeared in the March issue of Psychiatry 2005.

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