Childhood trauma can lead to gambling addiction

Men with gambling addictions are more likely to have endured childhood traumas such as physical abuse or violence at home, and treatment needs to address this underlying stressor, researchers have said.

A study was done on a nationally representative group of 3,025 men in the UK, aged 18 to 64. It was found that about one in four of compulsive gamblers - addicts who placed bets regardless of their mood or whether they were winning or losing - and those who were classified as problem gamblers had witnessed violence as kids.

About 10 per cent of compulsive and problem gamblers had themselves experienced physical abuse or assaults as children.

By comparison, only 8 per cent of the men without a gambling problem witnessed violence at home growing up and less than 4 per cent suffered physical abuse or assault, the study team reports in Addictive Behaviors.

Senior study author Jason Landon of the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand said: "Our study... shows harmful gambling is associated with early and adult trauma."- REUTERS