The prevalence and impact of major life stressors among pathological gamblers.

The International journal of the addictions 02/1987; 22(1):71-9. DOI: 10.3109/10826088709027414
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Major traumatic events were discovered in the histories of 23% of pathological gamblers seeking hospital treatment. These high-trauma patients were compared with groups of gambler patients who had experienced insignificant, low, or moderate amounts of life trauma. High-trauma patients tended, as measured by standard psychometrics, to be more depressed, anxious, and avoidant in personality style; they were also more likely to be abusing alcohol or other drugs. In their discussion the authors focus on the concept of learned dysthymia, a chronic state of negative affect related to cumulative life trauma and seemingly instrumental in potentiating addictive euphoria.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Problem and pathological gamblers are significantly more likely to experience mood disorders compared to the general population. The present study examined the relationship of psychological characteristics (personality, trait impulsiveness, gambling motives) to current co-occurring mood disorder (major depression, dysthymia) status among problem and pathological gamblers. Method: Problem and pathological gamblers (N = 150) underwent a clinical interview to assess current co-occurring mood disorders; participants completed measures of problem gambling severity, personality, impulsiveness, and gambling motives. Results: Gamblers with a current co-occurring mood disorder were more likely to be female, older, and to report higher lifetime and past-year gambling severity. A co-occurring mood disorder was associated with higher personality scores for alienation and stress reaction, lower scores for well-being, social closeness, and control, as well as higher impulsiveness scores for urgency and lack of premeditation, and lower sensation-seeking scores. Participants with a co- occurring mood disorder also reported higher coping motives for gambling. Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that personality factors (low social closeness, high alienation) contributed the greatest likelihood of being diagnosed with a co-occurring mood disorder. Conclusions: Mood disorders frequently co-occur with problem and pathological gambling, and they are associated with greater gambling severity. These findings highlight that facets of personality contribute substantially to co-occurring mood disorder status.
    Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 11/2014; · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to explore how gambling involvement and gambling-related problems may be affected by significant life events, psychological co-morbidities and related social factors. Twenty recreational gamblers and 20 people experiencing gambling problems were interviewed, with reflective first-person accounts being analysed to develop a grounded theory. While both groups had experienced various significant life events and psychological co-morbidity, they coped with such events in different ways. The problem gambling group was found to increase their gambling involvement, unlike the recreational gambling group. In contrast to the problem gambling group, most recreational gamblers had strong social support networks and a resilience that helped them cope with significant life events and co-morbidities. A major finding of this study is the importance of resilience and social support when coping with adversity as protective factors against gambling problems. A grounded theory framework is presented as a basis for further research in this area.
    International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 10/2014; · 0.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prior research suggests that at-risk and problem gamblers are more likely to have experienced early family dysfunction and exposure to gambling within the family in early childhood. However, little is known about the ways in which early childhood experiences contribute to at-risk and problem gambling in adulthood. Drawing on life history interviews with 48 participants, this article shows that the vast majority of regular gamblers in our study had been exposed to gambling as children in their family of origin. It also shows that different experiences of gambling within the early family were associated with contrasting gambling forms and risk levels in adulthood. Several at-risk and problem gamblers reported having had a parent or other family member with problematic gambling behaviour, while low-risk gamblers had experienced gambling in their early family life as purely recreational. In addition, the majority of the problem and at-risk gamblers had experienced conflicts, lack of encouragement and support, negativity, emotional distance and lack of communication in their early family life. A few also reported experiencing various forms of abuse as children. This paper shows that early exposure to problematic gambling and early family dysfunction impacted substantially on the participants' lives as adults and contributed to problem gambling.
    International Gambling Studies 01/2014; 14(1).