Gambling disorder (GD) and compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) may commonly co-occur. Yet, the psychiatric correlates of these co-occurring disorders are an untapped area of empirical scrutiny, limiting our understanding of appropriate treatment modalities for this dual-diagnosed population. This study examined the demographic and clinical correlates of CSB in a sample of treatment-seeking individuals with GD (N = 368) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Psychiatrists and psychologists conducted semi-structured clinical interviews to identify rates of CSB and other comorbid psychiatric disorders. The Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire was administered to assess additional addictive behaviors. The TCI and BIS-11 were used to assess facets of personality. Demographic and gambling variables were also assessed.
Of the total sample, 24 (6.5%) met diagnostic criteria for comorbid CSB (GD + CSB). Compared to those without compulsive sexual behaviors (GD − CSB), individuals with GD + CSB were more likely to be younger and male. No differences in gambling involvement emerged. Individuals with GD + CSB tended to have higher rates of psychiatric disorders (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bulimia nervosa) and engage in more addictive behaviors (problematic alcohol use, drug use, and exercise) compared to GD − CSB. Those with GD + CSB evidenced less self-directedness, cooperativeness, self-transcendence, and greater motor impulsivity. Logistic regression showed that the predictors of GD + CSB, which remained in the final model, were being male, a diagnosis of bulimia, greater gambling severity, and less self-transcendence.
Discussion and conclusion
Given those with GD + CSB evidence greater psychopathology, greater attention should be allocated to this often under studied comorbid condition to ensure adequate treatment opportunities.
Many new digital gambling-like activities such as loot boxes, esports betting, skin betting, and token wagering have recently emerged and grown in popularity. This scoping review aimed to: (a) synthesize the existing empirical research literature on gambling-like activities and their associations with gambling and video gaming behaviors, including problem gambling and video gaming; (b) identify sociodemographic, psychological, and motivational factors associated with engagement in gambling-like activities; and (c) identify research gaps and areas for further research.
A systematic search of Ovid, Embsco, and ProQuest databases and Google Scholar was conducted in May 2021 and last updated in February 2022. The search yielded a total of 2,437 articles. Articles were included in the review if they were empirical studies that contained quantitative or qualitative results regarding the relationship between gambling-like activities and gambling or gaming.
Thirty-eight articles met inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Overall, the review results suggest that all forms of gambling-like activities were positively associated with gambling and gaming with small to medium effects. Gambling-like activity participation was also positively associated with mental distress and impulsivity. Gaps identified included a lack of inquiry into skin betting and token wagering, a lack of diversity in the research methods (i.e., mainly cross-sectional surveys), and a paucity of research that includes more ethnically, culturally, and geographically diverse populations.
Longitudinal studies with more representative samples are needed to examine the causal link between gambling-like activities and gambling and video gaming.
Little attention has been given to efficacious treatment and adherence to treatment of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB).
Randomized controlled trial investigated short-term psychodynamic group therapy followed by relapse prevention group (STPGP-RPGT) and pharmacological treatment (PT) for CSB men on sexual compulsivity and adherence.
135 men, 38 (SD = 9) years old on average, were randomly assigned to 1) STPGP-RPGT; 2) PT; 3) Both. Participants completed measures at baseline, 25th, and 34th week. 57 (42.2%) participants dropped out between baseline and 25th week, and 68 (50.4%) between baseline and 34th week. 94 (69.6%) did not adhere (80% pills taken or attended 75% therapy sessions).
A significant interaction effect was found between time and group (F (4, 128) = 2.62, P = 0.038, ES = 0.08), showing who received PT improved less in sexual compulsivity than those who received STPGP-RPGT (t = 2.41; P = 0.038; ES = 0.60) and PT + STPGP-RPGT (t = 3.15; P = 0.007, ES = 0.74). Adherent participants improved more in sexual compulsivity than non-adherent at the 25th week (t = 2.82; P = 0.006, ES = 0.65) and 34th week (t = 2.26; P = 0.027, ES = 0.55), but there was no interaction effect, F (2, 130) = 2.88; P = 0.06; ES = 0.04). The most reported behavior (masturbation) showed greater risk of non-adherence (72.6%).
Discussion and conclusions
Adherent participants improved better than non-adherent. Participants who received psychotherapy improved better than those who received PT. Methodological limitations preclude conclusions on efficacy.