Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 115–129 | Cite as

A Prospective Investigation of Affect, the Desire to Gamble, Gambling Motivations and Gambling Behavior in the Mood Disorders

  • Lena C. QuiltyEmail author
  • Chris Watson
  • Tony Toneatto
  • R. Michael Bagby
Original Paper


Time-sampling methodology was implemented to examine the prospective associations between affect, desire to gamble, and gambling behavior in individuals diagnosed with a mood disorder. Thirty (9 male, 21 female) adults with a lifetime diagnosis of a depressive or bipolar disorder diagnosis who endorsed current gambling and lifetime gambling harm participated in the present study. Participants completed electronic diary entries of their current affective state, desire to gamble, and gambling behavior for 30 consecutive days. Hierarchical linear modelling revealed that affect was not a predictor of gambling behavior. Instead, affect predicted the desire to gamble, with high levels of sadness and arousal independently predicting an increased desire to gamble. Desire to gamble predicted actual gambling behavior. There were no differences across diagnostic groups in terms of gambling motivations at baseline; however, during the 30-day period, participants with bipolar disorder endorsed gambling to cope with negative affect more often than did participants with depressive disorder, whereas those with depressive disorder more often endorsed gambling for social reasons or enhancement of positive affect. The present findings provide evidence that negative affect is not directly related to actual gambling behavior, and suggest that affective states rather impact the desire to gamble.


Problem gambling Mood disorders Affect Desire Motivations 



This study was funded by an Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, Level IV Grant (#2182). OPGRC approved the research proposal, including objectives and methodology, but had no involvement in the research design, conduct, analysis, or write-up.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Quilty has conducted a research project funded by Ontario Lottery and Gaming. All remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standard

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research ethics board, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All participants provided informed consent and were free to withdraw at any time.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lena C. Quilty
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Chris Watson
    • 1
  • Tony Toneatto
    • 2
  • R. Michael Bagby
    • 2
  1. 1.Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMHTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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