Lucky at Cards, Unlucky in Love? The Dangers of Pathological Gambling on Marriage

b2ap3_thumbnail_gambling-and-marriage.jpgConvenience stores, gas stations and supermarkets, examples of the 240,000 retail outlets that sell instant lottery tickets on a daily basis. Could Americans be fulfilling the old proverb, “lucky at cards, unlucky in love”? Perhaps so, as the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NBCI) reiterates that pathological gambling has been widely reported to cause negative consequences, not only to a marriage but the family as well.

In a recent abstract, NBCI alludes to increasing evidence that pathological gambling or PG, promotes chaos and an increase of dysfunction among all family members, often leading to divorce or separation. An additional NBCI abstract explores the comparison of characteristics of adult pathological gamblers with at least one parent setting the PG example and found that often generational PG players experienced higher levels of severe bouts of gambling, substance or alcohol abuse patterns, and in general, a higher percentage of gambling related problems, including divorce.

Comorbidity and the association of DSM-IV (precursor to DSM-V) other psychological disorders were studied under the National Epidemiologic Survey. The survey was conducted with over 43,000 households participating and explored alcoholism and underlying comorbidity factors among those admitting issues with PG. Derivative of 15 symptoms, 10 were reflective in the PG prevalence rate. Following is a sampling of the study results:

  • Lifetime rate of pathological gambling reached 0.42%;
  • Alcohol and substance abuse presented in 73.2% of those with a PG diagnosis;
  • Nicotine dependence also presented in 60.4% of those surveyed;
  • Mood Disorder was evident among 49.6%;
  • Anxiety presented in 41.3% of those surveyed; and
  • 60.8% of those with PG tendencies presented with a personality disorder.

The study further revealed that PG may cross selective social economical or cultural divides. According to the data it was relevant that most newly separated or divorced, middle age males living in the West or Midwest regions of the U.S. have a higher concentration of PG with underlying comorbid issues.

No matter the prevalent issue that may be forcing a decision to divorce, the experienced Hinsdale divorce attorneys of the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio understand the challenges divorce presents. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators and will stand by as your legal advocate to ensure your rights are protected. Contact our office today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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