, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 197-207

The relationship between dissociative-like experiences and sensation seeking among social and problem gamblers

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Abstract

The present study examined the relationships between dissociative experiences, sensation seeking scores, and gambling behavior. On the basis of the frequency of their gambling behavior and responses to the Gamblers Anonymous Twenty Questions, subjects were designated as either problem gamblers (N=30) or social gamblers (N=30).

Those designated as problem gamblers responded “yes” to an average of 12.17 questions on the Gamblers Anonymous Twenty Questions as compared to the social gamblers who averaged 1.90 “yes” responses. Responses on the Twenty Questions correlated strongly with the frequency of gambling behavior and dissociative experiences. Problem gamblers reported a significantly greater number of dissociative experiences than social gamblers (p<.01). Problem gamblers scored significantly higher than social gamblers on the Total Sensation Seeking Scale, and the Boredom Susceptibility, Experience Seeking, and Disinhibition subscales. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.