"This suggests that pathological gambling may share an underlying genetic predisposition with other disorders like social anxiety, Black noted."
New York, June 17 - Now you may figure out why your kid gambles a lot. Look at your background first as gambling, like many other behavioural traits, runs in families.
Family members are eight times more likely to develop pathological gambling in their lifetime than relatives of people without pathological gambling, a research revealed.
This study clearly shows that pathological gambling runs in families at a rate higher than for many other behavioural and psychiatric disorders, said Donald W. Black, a professor of psychiatry at University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine.
If healthcare providers see a person with pathological gambling, that person is highly likely to have a close relative with similar or the same problem.
That is a teaching moment and they should probably encourage the patient to let their relatives know that help is available, Black added.
To understand this, researchers recruited 95 pathological gamblers and 91 control subjects as well as 1,075 first-degree adult relatives (including parents, siblings and children) of the participants.
They found that 11 percent of the gambling relatives had pathological gambling themselves compared to one percent of the control relatives.
It means that the odds are about eight times higher in gambling families for pathological gambling to run in those families compared to control families.
This suggests that pathological gambling may share an underlying genetic predisposition with other disorders like social anxiety, Black noted.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.