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Subtyping Non-treatment-seeking Problem Gamblers Using the Pathways Model



Subtyping Non-treatment-seeking Problem Gamblers Using the Pathways Model



Journal of Gambling Studies 33(3): 841-853



This study examined whether distinct subgroups could be identified among a sample of non-treatment-seeking problem and pathological/disordered gamblers (PG) using Blaszczynski and Nower's (Addiction 97:487-499, 2002) pathways model (N = 150, 50% female). We examined coping motives for gambling, childhood trauma, boredom proneness, risk-taking, impulsivity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and antisocial personality disorder as defining variables in a hierarchical cluster analysis to identify subgroups. Subgroup differences in gambling, psychiatric, and demographic variables were also assessed to establish concurrent validity. Consistent with the pathways model, our analyses identified three gambling subgroups: (1) behaviorally conditioned (BC), (2) emotionally vulnerable (EV), and (3) antisocial-impulsivist (AI) gamblers. BC gamblers (n = 47) reported the lowest levels of lifetime depression, anxiety, gambling severity, and interest in problem gambling treatment. EV gamblers (n = 53) reported the highest levels of childhood trauma, motivation to gamble to cope with negative emotions, gambling-related suicidal ideation, and family history of gambling problems. AI gamblers (n = 50) reported the highest levels of antisocial personality disorder and ADHD symptoms, as well as higher rates of impulsivity and risk-taking than EV gamblers. The findings provide evidence for the validity of the pathways model as a framework for conceptualizing PG subtypes in a non-treatment-seeking sample, and underscore the importance of tailoring treatment approaches to meet the respective clinical needs of these subtypes.

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Accession: 058927929

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27943032

DOI: 10.1007/s10899-016-9658-y


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