Executive Function in Problem Gamblers with and without History of Depression

  • Jennifer D. Ellis
  • Meagan M. Carr
  • David M. LedgerwoodEmail author
Brief Report


Executive function deficits are well-documented in gambling disorder as well as major depressive disorder. The literature also demonstrates that these clinical problems are highly comorbid. Despite the high rates of comorbidity and the transdiagnostic nature of executive function deficits, few studies have explored executive function in gamblers with a history of depression. As a preliminary investigation, the current work characterized executive function in a sample of problem gamblers with a history of depression (N = 19), problem gamblers without a history of depression (N = 19), and healthy controls (N = 40). Consistent with predictions, both gambler groups showed deficits in planning relative to controls. However, contrary to predictions, gamblers with a history of depression performed better than gamblers without a history of depression on a measure of cognitive flexibility. Results reveal that examining differences in executive function among different subtypes of problem gamblers may be a promising area for future study.


Gambling Problem gambling Depression Executive function 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest Statement

Authors David Ledgerwood, Jennifer Ellis and Meagan Carr declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent Statement

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee onhuman experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975. Informedconsent was obtained from all participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer D. Ellis
    • 1
  • Meagan M. Carr
    • 1
    • 2
  • David M. Ledgerwood
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeuroscienceWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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