Gambling addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all, and its difficult to predict which type of treatment is best for which form of gambling addiction, says study conducted by Wayne State University.
One group, emotionally vulnerable (EV) gamblers, had higher psychiatric and gambling severity and were more likely to have a parent with psychiatric problems as compared to another subtype, behaviorally conditioned (BC) gamblers. BC gamblers are thought to start gambling because they get caught up in elements of reward associated with the game, rather than to soothe emotional problems.
"In addition, we found that antisocial impulsive (AI) gamblers also had elevated gambling and psychiatric severity when compared to BC gamblers," said Ledgerwood.
"This group was most likely to have antisocial personality disorders, a history of substance abuse treatment, and a parent with substance abuse or gambling problems," he added.
Although the study included various levels of gambling addiction severity throughout treatment and follow-up, recovery patterns did not vary among the different groups. Therefore, subtyping gambling addiction does not predict treatment outcomes beyond a simple association with gambling severity.
The findings have been published in the journal Psychology.