Journal of Gambling Studies

, 22:289 | Cite as

Flow and Dissociation: Examination of Mean Levels, Cross-links, and Links to Emotional Well-Being across Sports and Recreational and Pathological Gambling

  • Brigitte Wanner
  • Robert Ladouceur
  • Amélie V. Auclair
  • Frank Vitaro
Original Paper

Abstract

To examine whether flow (Csikszentmihalyi (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. NY: Harper & Row) and dissociation (Jacobs (1986). Journal of Gambling Behavior, 2, 15–31) are experienced across sports and recreational and pathological gambling, we assessed a sample of 511 college students (256 females and 255 males, M age = 19.54) that was comprised of 14 pathological gamblers, 21 non-addicted gamblers, and 476 athletes. The findings showed that both flow and dissociation lay on a continuum of subjective experiences across activity groups. Specifically, pathological gamblers experienced lower levels of flow than athletes, whereas recreational gamblers lay in between the previous groups in this regard. In contrast, pathological gamblers experienced higher mean levels of dissociation than athletes and recreational gamblers who, in turn, were similar in this regard. A LISREL model showed that flow was positively associated with general emotional well-being, whereas dissociation was negatively associated with well-being.

Keywords

Dissociation Flow Pathological gambling Recreational gambling Sports 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brigitte Wanner
    • 1
  • Robert Ladouceur
    • 2
  • Amélie V. Auclair
    • 2
  • Frank Vitaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Laval UniversitySte-FoyCanada

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