Reconsidering the roots, structure, and implications of gambling motives: An integrative approach (open access preprint)

Barrada, J., Navas, J. F., de Lara, C. M. R., Billieux, J., Devos, G., & Perales, J. (2018, October 14).

Abstract: Accurately identifying motives is crucial in the functional analysis of gambling behavior. In this study, a data-driven approach was followed to clarify the factor structure underlying a pool of motives for gambling, selected from the Gambling Motives Questionnaire – Financial (GMQ-F), and the Reasons for Gambling Questionnaire (RGQ), in a sample of regular problem and non-problem gamblers. Additionally, the role of gambling motives in the relationship between root behavioral activation/inhibition systems (BIS/BAS) and gambling severity, frequency, and preferences was explored using structural equation modelling (SEM).
Results show that motives variance was best explained by the existence of four factors: financial motives, social motives, affect regulation, and fun/thrill. Importantly, gambling to regulate affect was directly and independently associated with gambling severity. Only the fun/thrill factor was directly related to frequency of participation in high-arousal, skill-based games, whereas all factors were related to participation in lower-arousal, chance games (with social motives negatively predicting both participation in the latter and total severity). Finally, in the SEM model, measures of BIS/BAS sensitivity were connected to gambling behavior only through gambling motives.
In summary, in contrast with previous, theory-driven factorizations, there seems to be no clear-cut separation between positive and negative reinforcement-driven motives, and an affect regulation factor emerged as the only one directly associated with the risk of gambling disorder. In accordance with this dual composition, the affect regulation motives factor appears to be fueled by both BIS and BAS. Based on mesures of items’ specificity, a shortened Spanish scale (the brief Gambling Motives Inventory, bGMI) is proposed to assess gambling motives in accordance with the observed 4-factor structure Access article preprint

Increased Urge to Gamble Following Near-Miss Outcomes May Drive Purchasing Behaviour in Scratch Card Gambling (full text)

Madison Stange, Candice Graydon, Mike J. Dixon

Previous research into scratch card gambling has highlighted the effects of these games on players’ arousal and affective states. Specifically, near-miss outcomes in scratch cards (uncovering 2 of 3 needed jackpot symbols) have been associated with high levels of physiological and subjective arousal and negative emotional evaluations, including increased frustration. We sought to extend this research by examining whether near-misses prompted increases in gambling urge, and the subsequent purchasing of additional scratch cards. Participants played two scratch cards with varying outcomes with half of the sample experiencing a near-miss for the jackpot prize, and the other half experiencing a regular loss. Players rated their urge to continue gambling after each game outcome, and following the initial playing phase, were then able to use their winnings to purchase additional cards. Our results indicated that near-misses increased the urge to gamble significantly more than regular losses, and urge to gamble in the near-miss group was significantly correlated with purchasing at least one additional card. Although some players in the loss group purchased another card, there was no correlation between urge to gamble and purchasing in this group. Additionally, participants in the near-miss group who purchased additional cards reported higher levels of urge than those who did not purchase more cards. This was not true for the loss group: participants who experienced solely losing outcomes reported similar levels of urge regardless of whether or not they purchased more scratch cards. Despite near-misses’ objective status as monetary losses, the increased urge that follows near-miss outcomes may translate into further scratch card gambling for a subset of individuals.

Problem Gambling in a Sample of Older Adult Casino Gamblers Associations With Gambling Participation and Motivations

Maas, M. van der, Mann, R. E., McCready, J., Matheson, F. I., Turner, N. E., Hamilton, H. A., … Ialomiteanu, A. (2016).

As older adults continue to make up a greater proportion of the Canadian population, it becomes more important to understand the implications that their leisure activities have for their physical and mental health. Gambling, in particular, is a form of leisure that is becoming more widely available and has important implications for the mental health and financial well-being of older adults. This study examines a large sample (2103) of casino-going Ontarian adults over the age of 55 and identifies those features of their gambling participation that are associated with problem gambling. Logistic regression analysis is used to analyze the data. Focusing on types of gambling participated in and motivations for visiting the casino, this study finds that several forms of gambling and motivations to gamble are associated with greater risk of problem gambling. It also finds that some motivations are associated with lower risk of problem gambling. The findings of this study have implications related to gambling availability within an aging population.

Motivation-Matched Approach to the Treatment of Problem Gambling: A Case Series Pilot Study (open access)

Stewart, M. J., Davis MacNevin, P. L., Hodgins, D. C., Barrett, S. P., Swansburg, J., & Stewart, S. H.
The aim of the present case series was to provide a preliminary assessment of the utility of a motivation-matched treatment for problem gamblers. On the basis of their primary underlying motivations for gambling, 6 problem gamblers received either action-motivated (n = 4) or escape-motivated (n = 2) treatment. Drawing upon a cognitive-behavioural framework, this 6-session motivation-matched treatment was designed to address gamblers’ maladaptive motivations for gambling (i.e., the need or desire for “escape” or “action”), as well as the effects of conditioning and maladaptive thinking patterns unique to each gambling motive subtype. Assessments were conducted at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 3- and 6-month follow-up. Primary outcome measures included gambling behaviour (i.e., gambling frequency, time, and money spent gambling), severity of gambling problems, and gambling-related impairment or disability; secondary outcome measures included gambling-related craving, gambling abstinence self-efficacy, positively and negatively reinforcing gambling situations, and gambling outcome expectancies. Overall, participants showed pre- to post-treatment improvements on the majority of these measures, with relatively less immediate post-treatment treatment gains observed on measures that assessed positively and negatively reinforcing gambling situations and gambling-related impairment or disability. However, treatment gains at the 3- and 6-month follow-up were shown for most participants on these latter measures as well. Findings suggest promise for this novel treatment approach. The next step in this line of research is to conduct a randomized, controlled trial to compare the efficacy of this motivation-matched treatment for disordered gambling with treatment as usual.

A Prospective Investigation of Affect, the Desire to Gamble, Gambling Motivations and Gambling Behavior in the Mood Disorders

Time-sampling methodology was implemented to examine the prospective associations between affect, desire to gamble, and gambling behavior in individuals diagnosed with a mood disorder. Thirty (9 male, 21 female) adults with a lifetime diagnosis of a depressive or bipolar disorder diagnosis who endorsed current gambling and lifetime gambling harm participated in the present study. Participants completed electronic diary entries of their current affective state, desire to gamble, and gambling behavior for 30 consecutive days. Hierarchical linear modelling revealed that affect was not a predictor of gambling behavior. Instead, affect predicted the desire to gamble, with high levels of sadness and arousal independently predicting an increased desire to gamble. Desire to gamble predicted actual gambling behavior. There were no differences across diagnostic groups in terms of gambling motivations at baseline; however, during the 30-day period, participants with bipolar disorder endorsed gambling to cope with negative affect more often than did participants with depressive disorder, whereas those with depressive disorder more often endorsed gambling for social reasons or enhancement of positive affect. The present findings provide evidence that negative affect is not directly related to actual gambling behavior, and suggest that affective states rather impact the desire to gamble.

Gender Differences in Self-Conscious Emotions and Motivation to Quit Gambling

Considerable gender differences have been previously noted in the prevalence, etiology, and clinical features of problem gambling. While differences in affective states between men and women in particular, may explain differential experiences in the process of gambling, the role of affect in motivations for quitting gambling and recovery has not been thoroughly explored. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences within a sample of problem gamblers motivated to quit with or without formal treatment, and further, to explore the interactions between gender, shame and guilt-proneness, and autonomous versus controlled reasons for change. Motivation for change and self-conscious emotional traits were analyzed for 207 adult problem gamblers with an interest in quitting or reducing their gambling (96.6 % not receiving treatment)…

Source: Kushnir, V., Godinho, A., Hodgins, D. C., Hendershot, C. S., & Cunningham, J. A. (2015). Gender Differences in Self-Conscious Emotions and Motivation to Quit Gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–15.