Pathological gambling, gender, and risk-taking behaviors

Silvia Saboia Martins, Hermano Tavares, Daniela Sabbatini Da Silva Lobo, Ana Maria Galetti, Valentim Gentil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Seventy-eight female and 78 male pathological gamblers admitted to an outpatient treatment program were compared regarding a profile of risk-taking behaviors (suicide attempts, illegal activities meant to finance gambling, sexual risky behavior, and alcohol abuse). The Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 (BIS-11), and an adaptation of the HIV Risk Behavior Scale were used. Females attempted more suicide than males. Men had more sexual risky behavior and alcohol abuse than women. Younger age and depression were risk factors for suicide attempts, younger age and impulsivity were risk factors for illegal activities. Younger age was a risk factor for sexual risky behavior, and no risk factor other than male gender was found for alcohol abuse. Future investigation of risk behaviors among gamblers must take into account the differences in gender and age. Both impulsivity and emotional distress are related to risk-taking in gamblers, and young gamblers who early in life display other potentially harmful behaviors require special attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1235
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotional distress
  • Gender
  • Impulsivity
  • Pathological gambling
  • Risk-taking behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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