Subtyping Pathological Gamblers on the Basis of Affective Motivations for Gambling: Relations to Gambling Problems, Drinking Problems, and Affective Motivations for Drinking


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Abstract

Pathological gamblers who drink when gambling (n = 158; 77% men; mean age = 36.0 years) completed the Inventory of Gambling Situations (IGS) and gambling and drinking criterion measures. Principal components analysis on the IGS subscales revealed negative (e.g., Unpleasant Emotions) and positive (e.g., Pleasant Emotions) gambling situation factors. Subjecting IGS factor scores to cluster analysis revealed three clusters: (a) enhancement gamblers, with low negative and high positive factor scores; (b) coping gamblers, with very high negative and high positive factor scores; and (c) low emotion regulation gamblers, with low negative and positive factor scores (59%, 23%, and 18% of the sample, respectively). Clusters were validated with a direct measure of gambling motives. Additional validity analyses showed that coping gamblers scored higher than the other groups on a variety of different gambling activities, gambling problems, drinking frequency, drinking problems, and coping drinking motives, whereas low emotion regulation gamblers scored lower than the other groups on gambling frequency, gambling problems, drinking quantity, and enhancement drinking motives. The findings validate this empirical approach to subtyping gamblers and suggest consistency of motives across addictive behaviors.

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