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Pathological Gambling: Etiology, Comorbidity, and Treatment examines the prevalence and consequences of problem gambling as well as approaches to treatment. In this comprehensive book, Petry clarifies the current understanding of gambling as a disorder, including its levels of intensity; possible origins in biological, neurological, developmental, and environmental spheres; and special issues surrounding populations that seem to be more susceptible to problem gambling, including youth, ethnic minorities, and those with comorbid affective disorders such as depression.

The author reviews treatments commonly used for pathological gambling as well as nonprofessionally guided interventions such as Gamblers Anonymous. Petry then presents her own brief cognitive-behavioral approach, whose success is empirically proven in the largest known study of psychosocial treatments of problem gamblers.

This book represents a review of everything currently known about problem gambling as well as promising treatment approaches, making it an invaluable, comprehensive resource for both therapists and researchers in the field of pathological gambling.

Table of Contents


I. Foundations for Understanding

  1. Introduction
  2. Terminology, Prevalence Rates, and Types of Gambling
  3. Assessment

II. Etiology

  1. Demographic Correlates
  2. Comorbidity of Disordered Gambling and Other Psychiatric Disorders
  3. Neurobiology and Genetics

III. Research on Interventions

  1. Pharmacotherapies
  2. Recovery Without Professional Intervention
  3. Therapy for Families and Significant Others
  4. Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Treatments
  5. Early Behavioral Treatments
  6. Cognitive Biases and Cognitive Therapy

IV. A Treatment Model

  1. Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy
  2. Brief and Motivational Interventions

V. Conclusions

  1. Prevention: Focus on Gambling in Youth and Young Adults
  2. Conclusions

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Author Bio

Nancy M. Petry earned a BA in 1990 from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and a PhD from Harvard University in 1994. In 1996, she joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut Health Center, where she is a professor of psychiatry.

She conducts research on the treatment of addictive disorders, ranging from substance use disorders to pathological gambling, and has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles. Her work is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Dr. Petry serves as a consultant and advisor for the National Institute of Health, and she is on the editorial boards of six academic journals. She received the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in 2003.

Reviews & Awards
  • Choice Outstanding Title!

Anyone with a serious interest in gambling will want this book in their personal library. Now and for the future, this work should remain an indispensable piece of scholarship for those working as researchers and practitioners in this field. Essential.
—CHOICE Magazine

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