Home > The joint role of impulsivity and distorted cognitions in recreational and problem gambling: A cluster analytic approach.

Devos, Gaëtan and Clark, Luke and Bowden-Jones, Henrietta and Grall-Bronnec, Marie and Challet-Bouju, Gaëlle and Khazaal, Yasser and Maurage, Pierre and Billieux, Joël (2020) The joint role of impulsivity and distorted cognitions in recreational and problem gambling: A cluster analytic approach. Journal of Affective Disorders, 260, pp. 473-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.096.

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The Pathways Model (Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) posits that problem gambling is a heterogeneous disorder with distinct subgroups (behaviorally conditioned gamblers, emotionally vulnerable gamblers, and antisocial-impulsivist gamblers). Impulsivity traits and gambling-related cognitions are recognized as two key psychological factors in the onset and maintenance of problem gambling. To date, these constructs have been explored separately, and their joint role in determining problem gambling subtypes has received little attention. The goal of our study was to identify subgroups of gamblers based on impulsivity traits and gambling-related cognitions, and to determine whether this approach is consistent with the Pathways model.

METHODS: Gamblers from the community (N = 709) and treatment-seeking pathological gamblers (N = 122) completed questionnaires measuring gambling habits, disordered gambling symptoms, gambling-related cognitions, and impulsivity traits.

RESULTS: Cluster analyses revealed that three clusters globally aligned with the pathways proposed by Blaszczynski & Nower (2002). Two other clusters emerged: (1) impulsive gamblers without cognitive-related cognitions; and (2) gamblers without impulsivity or gambling-related cognitions. Gamblers with both heightened impulsive traits and gambling-related cognitions had more severe problem gambling symptoms.

CONCLUSION: We successfully identified, based on an a priori theoretical framework, different subtypes of gamblers that varied in terms of problem gambling symptoms and clinical status. The diversity of the cluster profiles supports the development of personalized prevention strategies and psychological interventions.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Behavioural addiction
Intervention Type
Psychosocial treatment method
1 January 2020
Identification #
Page Range
pp. 473-482

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