A cross-cultural study of gambling disorder: a comparison between women from Brazil and the United States – Open Access

Objective: To perform a cross-cultural comparison of gambling disorder (GD) in women from Brazil and the United States, two countries with pronounced social and cultural differences. We hoped to produce insight into the impact of cultural influences on the presentation of GD in women, which may be useful for the development of culturally-sensitive interventions.

Method: We assessed 681 women with GD: 406 from a Brazilian sample and 275 from a U.S. sample. We assessed demographic and gambling behavior variables in addition to co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Results: Fewer Brazilian participants were Caucasian (73.3 vs. 91.3%; p = 0.022). Also, Brazilian women had lower levels of education (59.9% with high school or less vs. 44.4%; p < 0.001), and were more likely to have a current partner (54.9 vs. 43.4%; p = 0.003). Brazilian gamblers also reported lower urge scores (6.6±4.3 vs. 11.6±2.4; p < 0.001) and higher chasing rates (89.1 vs. 80.0%; p = 0.002). Brazilian gamblers reported higher rates of bingo gambling (19.2 vs. 5.7%; p < 0.001), but lower rates of card game gambling (5.8 vs. 23.1%; p < 0.001). Finally, Brazilian gamblers were more likely to endorse a history of major depressive disorder (36.9 vs. 24.4%; p = 0.001).

Conclusions: This study reinforces the need for further general cross-cultural research on GD and particularly for studies investigating how gender mediates these differences. Finally, the differences noted in this analysis suggest that the findings of predominantly Anglo-Saxon cultures may not be generalizable to other world populations.

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