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​Gambling and co-morbid disorders (2013)

About the study

The project carried out by the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University examined the relationship between problem gambling and co-occurring disorders over time.

The researchers asked:

  • What is the role of co-morbid disorders in problem gambling?
  • What are effective prevention and intervention measures to avoid problem gambling?

Findings suggest that less than half of problem gamblers had experienced depression or anxiety. Of those who had, men were between 5 and 6 times more likely to experience depression and/or anxiety after the onset of problem gambling. Women were more likely to experience these disorders before problem gambling.

Anxiety was an independent predictor of problem gambling developments when all disorders were analysed in terms of their individual ability to predict problem gambling.

Impulsivity problems arise when people are feeling guilty, fearful, angry or nervous, and therefore may also predict the development of problem gambling. Eighteen mental health and gambling help experts confirmed the findings for impulsivity and anxiety.

These findings are useful in that they provide public health recommendations. Findings highlight  that experts favour a broadening of awareness about problem gambling in the wider health and welfare service sectors through more questioning (of patients or clients) by practitioners, especially General Practitioners.

This study was funded through Gambling Research Australia.

Read the report​.  

How to cite this report

Haw J, Holdsworth L & Nisbet S 2013, Gambling and co-morbid disorders. Gambling Research Australia. Melbourne.

Main list of gambling research reports here.