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J Gambl Stud. 1996 Mar;12(1):83-101. doi: 10.1007/BF01533191.

Gender, gambling and problem gambling.

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Department of Sociology, Iowa State University, 50011, Ames, IA.


With data from a 1989 Iowa survey (N=1,011), adult male and female respondents are compared on their problem gambling, its correlates, as well as their gambling behavior. Gambling behavior means its scope, frequency, wagering and leisure time spent at gambling. Women's gambling behavior was lower than that of men, due to their having a narrower scope of gambling behavior, but the genders were not significantly different on frequency, wagering and time spent at gambling. Women and men did not differ significantly on problem gambling. Problem gambling is measured as loss of control over gambling, and consequences due to gambling as well as gambling behavior. Women and men did differ significantly, however, on several predictors of problem gambling. Women's estrangement from a conventional lifestyle and integration into a social world of gambling appeared to help explain their problem gambling. Alcohol consumption appeared to be a more important predictor for men than women. The genders shared the attitude that the odds can be beat as well as being big spenders as predictors of their problem gambling. The results are interpreted with practitioners' efforts to prevent and treat problem gambling in mind.


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