Men and Women Gamble for Different Reasons
By Earl
by Earl Williams

New Haven, Conn. A research group at Yale University found in September of last year that when it comes to confrontational gambling games, such as blackjack or poker, men more often than women are likely to admit to addiction. Women are more likely to confess to addiction to gambling that is not so strategic and less interpersonal in nature, such as slot machines, or bingo.

The differences could lead to changes, with gender more the target, in the treatment of gambling addiction. 'We've found that the differences in the underlying motivations to gamble and in problems generated by excessive gambling are gender related,' said the study's lead investigator, Marc N. Potenza, M.D., Director of the Problem Gambling Clinic at Yale. 'These results show that new strategies may be necessary to maximize treatment efficacy for men and women with gambling problems.'

The report was based on the findings that came from examining the characteristics of gamblers who called the Connecticut Council on Gambling's helpline in 1998 and 1999. Of the 562 calls analyzed, 62% were from males, 38% from females. But the gender differences were seen in the patterns of gambling and in the gambling-related problems -- such as bad borrowing habits, indebtedness, legal entanglements, suicidal thoughts and behavior, and problems of mental health -- that the men and women reported.

The Yale researchers also discovered that female gamblers more often than men take treatment for mental health problems not related to gambling. Men are more likely to complain of problems with drugs or the law. Members of both genders suffered heavy indebtedness, anxiety, and depression.

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