Childhood Abuse May Lead to Gambling Problems Later On
Men with gambling addictions are more likely to have experienced childhood trauma or abuse than men who do not have a pathological addiction to gambling, say psychologists at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, who conducted a study published in Addictive Behaviors.
The researchers evaluated survey responses from more than 3,000 men. They discovered that slightly more than 25 percent of men with gambling addictions said they had witnessed violence at home, and 10 percent reported being physically abused as children. Men with gambling problems that had not yet become pathological also experienced higher-than-average rates of childhood trauma. Slightly less than 23 percent of these men reported witnessing violence at home, and 9 percent reported physical abuse as children. In men without gambling problems, just 8 percent reported witnessing domestic violence, and fewer than 4 percent reported physical abuse as children.
The pattern of childhood trauma and pathological and problem gambling in adulthood remained even when other risk factors—including substance abuse and homelessness, for example—were accounted for. Generally, the more serious the gambling problem, the higher the percentage of reported childhood trauma.