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Factors underlying gaming machine play


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Dimsey, AT 2007 , 'Factors underlying gaming machine play', DPsych(Clin) thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Gambling addiction has often been associated with fast cycle games such as gaming machines rather than slow cycle games like lotteries. Unlike other forms of gambling, gaming machines allow almost continuous play, and therefore the factors that underlie problem gambling associated with gaming machines may differ from other forms. This thesis examines differences between problem gamblers and regular gamblers whose predominant form of gambling is gaming machines, as well as a matched control sample of non-gamblers. This study had two main aims; to identify motivational and personality constructs useful in understanding the development and maintenance of problem gambling, and to explore different dimensions of gamblers.
A package of questionnaires, including the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), was completed by 141 volunteers recruited from gambling treatment agencies and the general community. Three groups were formed (problem, regular and non-gamblers) on the basis of SOGS score, in conjunction with self-report measures of gambling behaviour.
In line with the first aim the first part of this study explored the differences between regular, problem and non-gambling groups from a reversal theory perspective and also to examine differences between these groups on personality variables previously associated with problem gambling. Analysis was conducted using results from the Telic Dominance Scale, Motivational Style Profile, Zuckerman Kohlman Personality Questionnaire and the I7 (impulsivity questionnaire). It was hypothesized that problem and regular gambling groups would be more paratelic dominant than non-gamblers and that problem gamblers would be more mastery oriented, negativistic and pessimistic than regular or non-gamblers.
In line with these hypotheses it was found that regular gamblers scored more highly on playfulness than problem and non-gamblers; however, neither gambling group was found to be more paratelic dominant than the non-gambling group. As hypothesized, problem gamblers were higher on pessimism than the other two groups. Problem and regular gamblers were found to score more highly on impulsiveness and aggression/hostility than non-gamblers. Problem gamblers also scored more highly on neuroticism/anxiety than regular gamblers, who also scored more highly than non-gamblers on this measure.
In order to explore the second aim of the study, exploratory factor analyses were performed to examine the presence of different dimensions of gamblers. Data from the regular and problem gambling groups was analysed. A three-factor solution was found to provide the best fit for the data and supported Blaszczynksi and Nower's (2002) proposed pathways model for problem gambling. The first factor had characteristics that correspond well with the impulsive type subgroup or biological correlates group described by Blaszczynski and Nower, with individuals in this group displaying higher levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking. The second factor corresponded most closely to Blaszczynski and Nower's normal problem gambling subgroup, made up of individuals who gamble but show little psychopathology. The third factor corresponded to the emotional subgroup, with higher levels of negative mood states such as pessimism and anxiety present, as well as impulsivity but not sensation seeking or venturesomeness. These results are discussed in terms of reversal theory constructs and implications for treatment of gambling addiction.

Item Type: Thesis - DPsych(Clin)
Authors/Creators:Dimsey, AT
Keywords: Compulsive gamblers, Compulsive gambling, Gambling, Gamblers, Addicts, Compulsive behavior
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Copyright 2007 the author.

Additional Information:

No access or viewing until 31 October 2009. Thesis (DPsych(Clin))--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references

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