The interplay between chasing behavior, time perspective, and gambling severity: An experimental study [open-access article].

Background and aims: Chasing refers to continued gambling in an attempt to recoup previous losses and is one of the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder. However, research on the topic is still in its infancy. This study investigated whether chasing behavior mediates the relationship between time perspective and gambling severity.
Methods: Nonproblem gamblers (N = 26) and problem gamblers (N = 66) with the same demographic features (age and gender) were compared on the Consideration of Future Consequences and a computerized task assessing chasing. The Italian South Oaks Gambling Screen was used to discriminate participants in terms of gambling severity.
Results: Significant correlations were found relating to gambling severity, chasing, and time perspective. More specifically, the results showed that problem gamblers reported more chasing and a foreshortened time horizon. Chasers, compared to nonchasers, were found to be more oriented to the present. Regression analysis showed that male gender, present-oriented time perspective, and chasing were good predictors of gambling severity. Finally, to clarify if present orientation was on the path from chasing to gambling severity or if chasing was the mediator of the impact of present orientation on gambling severity, a path analysis was performed. The results indicated that present orientation had a direct effect on gambling severity and mediated the relationship between chasing and gambling involvement.
Conclusion: The findings support the exacerbating role of chasing in gambling disorder and for the first time show the relationship of time perspective, chasing, and gambling severity among adults. Article available online

Reference: Ciccarelli, M., Cosenza, M., Griffiths, M.D., D’Olimpio. F., & Nigro, G. (2019). The interplay between chasing behavior, time perspective, and gambling severity: An experimental study. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. DOI: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.29

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Big five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity [subscription access article].

Abstract: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; 5th ed.) reassignment of gambling disorder as an addictive disorder alongside the substance-related addictive disorders encourages research into their shared etiologies. The aims of this study were to examine: (a) the associations of Big Five personality dimensions with alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorders, (b) the comorbidity between these disorders, (c) the extent to which common personality underpinnings explain comorbidity, (d) whether results differed for men and women, and (e) the magnitude of personality differences corresponding to the 4 disorders. Participants were 3,785 twins and siblings (1,365 men, 2,420 women; Mage = 32 years, range = 21–46 years) from the Australian Twin Registry who completed psychiatric interviews and Big Five personality inventories. The personality profile of high neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness was associated with all 4 addictive disorders. All but 1 of the pairwise associations between the disorders were significant. After accounting for Big Five traits, the associations were attenuated to varying degrees but remained significant. The results were generally similar for men and women. The results suggest that the Big Five traits of neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are associated with the general propensity to develop an addictive disorder and may in part explain their co-occurrence; however, they may be more broadly associated with the propensity for any psychiatric disorder. The effect sizes of the personality associations suggest that the diagnosis of gambling disorder as operationalized by the DSM may be more severe than the other addictive disorders. Calibration of the diagnosis of gambling disorder to the other addictive disorders may be warranted. Article available from APA PsycNET $11.95

Reference: Dash, Genevieve F., Slutske, Wendy S., Martin, Nicholas G., Statham, Dixie J., Agrawal, Arpana, & Lynskey, Michael T. (2019). Big Five Personality Traits and Alcohol, Nicotine, Cannabis, and Gambling Disorder Comorbidity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, (16 May).

Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study [open-access article].

Abstract: It is well known that many problem gamblers also suffer from other psychiatric conditions. However, knowledge regarding the temporal sequencing of the conditions is lacking, as well as insight in possible gender specific patterns. The aim of this study was to examine the risk for psychiatric comorbidity among problem gamblers compared to non-problem gamblers in the general Swedish population, as well as the age of onset and the temporal sequencing of problem gambling and the comorbid psychiatric conditions among lifetime problem gamblers. A case–control study nested in the Swelogs cohort was used. For both the female and the male problem gamblers, the risk for having had a lifetime psychiatric condition was double or more than double compared to the controls. Having experienced anxiety or depression before gambling onset, constituted a risk for developing problem gambling for the women but not for the men. Further, the female cases initiated gambling after their first period of anxiety, depression and problems with substances, and problem gambling was the last condition to evolve. Opposite this, the male cases initiated gambling before any condition evolved, and depression and suicidal events emerged after problem gambling onset. There were large differences in mean age of onset between the female cases and their controls, this was not the case for the males. Gender specific patterns in the association between problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity, as well as in the development of problem gambling needs to be considered in treatment planning as well as by the industry in their advertising. Article available online

Reference: Sundqvist, K. & Rosendahl, I. (2019).Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study. Journal of Gambling Studies. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09851-2

The treatment of gambling disorder: A comprehensive (socio-psychological-neurobiological) explanation and therapy model?


Available online working paper made available via the Social Science Open Access Repository.


Summary: In this theoretical work, we present the clinical picture of pathological gambling, an etiological explanatory model and resulting therapeutic implications. Social, psychological and physiological factors are included. The “addiction model” also distinguishes between factors relevant to the onset and continuation of disturbed gambling behavior. Multifactorial causes must be postulated in the “entry phase” of the behavior. During the actual “addiction phase“, the self-perpetuating disturbed gambling behavior is characterized by a strong mental dependence and a nearly autonomously triggered addiction behavior (loss of control) associated with structural changes in the deeper brain areas of the „reward system“. There is an “irresistible urge” to continue gambling, upheld not least by a dominance of gambling behavior in the reward system and the accompanying dysfunction of this area of the brain.

At the beginning of therapy, the focus lies on the addictive behavior itself. The symptoms that developed last are the ones that are first incorporated into the therapy consideration, whereby the therapeutic goals are to be set in a certain order: (a) Motivation, withdrawal symptoms after the patient stopped gambling, (b) insight into the disease (do not deny further) and its acceptance, (c) consolidation of the abstinence through a treatment of the causes of disease development. Dependence means not having sufficient alternatives. The reconstruction of the reward system and the development of a wide range of varied alternatives are an important prerequisite for avoiding relapse and achieving a balanced and satisfied way of life. Eliminating the dominance of gambling in the reward system and strongly anchoring the desired potently rewardable alternatives in behavior is associated with significant psychological and physiological resistance. The adrenaline rush of gambling is not easily compensated and cannot be replaced with lukewarm water or realistic thinking. Problems of implementing desired behavioral changes have not yet been sufficiently taken into account and there is a lack of necessary research. Are there any obligatory treatment factors? Full article

Reference: Bachmann, M., Bachmann, A.A., & Frensemeier, S. (2019). The treatment of gambling disorder: A comprehensive (socio-psychological-neurobiological) explanation and therapy model? Retrieved from https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:0168- ssoar-61824-8

Consumer perspectives of a multi-venue gambling self-exclusion program: A qualitative process analysis


Available online – from the Journal of Gambling Studies


Abstract: Self-exclusion is an important harm minimization strategy implemented by gambling operators to restrict a problem gambler’s access to gambling opportunities. Aspects of self-exclusion, including low uptake and non-compliance, limit the effectiveness of programs. Research that considers the consumer perspective is needed to enhance the perceived utility of self-exclusion in the target audience. Twenty interviews were conducted with current (n = 13) and former (n = 7) participants of a multi-venue self-exclusion program for land-based gaming machine venues in New South Wales, Australia. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their experiences and opinions of the program, including its strengths and weaknesses, and suggested improvements for future consumers. Overall, participants found self-exclusion beneficial. However, several shortcomings of the program were expressed, including lack of available public information and overly complicated registration processes. Participants lacked confidence in venues’ willingness and ability to identify non-compliant gamblers and highlighted the need for vastly improved detection systems. The quality of interactions with venue staff in relation to self-exclusion were mixed; counsellor support, however, was perceived as important from beginning to end of a self-exclusion period. Results suggest that gambling operators should increase marketing efforts to promote the availability and benefits of self-exclusion. Investigation of strategies to streamline registration processes and to augment detection systems with new technologies was supported. Venue staff may benefit from training in appropriate self-exclusion facilitation procedures. Gambling operators should aim to foster strong links between self-exclusion programs and professional gambling counselling services. Access full article

Reference: Pickering, D., Nong, Z., Gainsbury, S.M. & Blaszczynski, A. (2019). Consumer perspectives of a multi-venue gambling self-exclusion program: A qualitative process analysis. Journal of Gambling Studies, 41.

Perceptions of problem gambling among methadone maintenance treatment clients and counsellors [open access article]

Abstract: Problem gambling is highly prevalent and rarely treated among clients who attend methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPs). Compared with those of the general population, rates of gambling disorder have been found to be elevated among individuals receiving methadone maintenance treatment. Our study aims were to (a) develop a clearer understanding of the gambling experience of clients and counsellors at a methadone clinic and (b) gain insight into the current treatment options and obstacles to treatment in the clinic. Semi-structured interviews focusing on gambling issues were conducted with 8 clients and 8 counsellors at an MMTP located in an urban area. Participants were asked questions to gain an understanding about their perspectives on, treatment options for, and treatment barriers to problem gambling in the clinic. Data were coded by 4 investigators by using a constant comparison, open coding approach. The findings revealed important differences between clients and counsellors: Opinions differed on the definition of problem gambling, obstacles to treatment, and optimal treatment settings. Clients and counsellors also agreed on some elements, including the negative impact that problem gambling can have on recovery from substance use. This examination of responses of counsellors and client feedback provides a useful mechanism to better understand problem gambling in MMTPs. In addition, the findings have important clinical implications, including a need for more effective screening and treatment in MMTPs and to provide substance use counsellors with training related to problem gambling. Access full article

Megan E. Wall, Cassandra R. Durand, Hana Machover, Rachel Arnold, Haley A. Miles-McLean, Wendy Potts, Loreen Rugle, Christopher Welsh, Seth Himelhoch. (2018). Journal of Gambling Issues.

 

Gambling disorder in adolescents: what do we know about this social problem and its consequences? [open access article]

Abstract: Gambling disorder (GD) is a psychiatric condition and it is characterized by a maladaptive pattern of gambling behavior that persists despite negative consequences in major areas of life functioning. In Italy, CNR (National Research Council) underlined how over 17 million, 42.8% of the population aged 15–64 have a gambling behavior. Among them, there are over one million students, aged 15–19, equal to 44.2% of Italian students; the number of minors in Italy with GD in 2017 was 580,000, equal to 33.6%. Access full article

Pietro Ferrara, Giulia Franceschini and Giovanni Corsello. (2018). Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 44:146. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13052-018-0592-8