Beyond Recreational Gambling a Psychological Perspective on Risk- and Problem Gambling
Abstract: The general aim of this thesis was to examine risk gambling in the general population from a psychological perspective. This was done in three studies targeting personality, risky alcohol habits and gambling motives, respectively. Initially, 19 530 randomly assigned Swedish citizens were screened for problem gambling via telephone using the two questions in the Lie/Bet questionnaire. This sample constitutes the basis for one of the studies in the thesis. For the other studies, individuals answering yes to one of the questions in the Lie/Bet questionnaire and agreeing to participate further were sent a postal questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions about gambling, personality and gambling motives. Some of the main results showed that:Negative consequences of gambling were associated with higher levels of impulsivity and negative affectivity.Risk gamblers reported lower levels of negative affectivity compared to the general population.Compared to non-risk gamblers, twice as many of the risk gamblers reported weekly binge drinking during the past 12 months. This association, however, seemed to be explained by shared demographic characteristics, rather than by the risk gambling causing binge drinking.High risk gamblers more often reported that they gambled for the challenge and for coping reasons, compared to low risk gamblers.High risk gamblers had overall stronger motives for gambling.The results also indicated that the level of risk gambling was highly intertwined with gambling motives and could explain some differences in gambling motives between, for example, women/men and younger/older gamblers.One of the focal points in the discussion was that higher levels of negative affectivity may be a cause of elevated problems rather than a cause of risk gambling. Another issue discussed was that the level of risk- /problem gambling may be important to consider when comparing gambling motives across subgroups of gamblers.
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