Excitement-seeking Gambling in a Nationally Representative Sample of Recreational Gamblers
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Excitement-seeking and related constructs have been associated with heavier gambling and negative health measures in problem and/or pathological gamblers. Most adults gamble recreationally and an understanding of the relationship between excitement-seeking as a motivation for gambling amongst subsyndromal gamblers has significant public health implications. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine a national sample of past-year recreational gamblers (N = 1,476) to identify characteristics distinguishing gamblers acknowledging gambling for excitement (“Excitement-seeking Gamblers” or EGs) and gamblers denying gambling for excitement (“Non-excitement-seeking Gamblers” or NEGs). EGs were more likely than NEGs to report alcohol use and abuse/dependence, any substance abuse/dependence, incarceration, large gambling wins and losses, more frequent and varied gambling, and symptoms of pathological gambling (i.e., at-risk gambling). Together, these findings indicate that EGs are more likely than NEGs to demonstrate problems in multiple areas characterized by impaired impulse control.
KeywordsRecreational Gambling Excitement-seeking Sensation-seeking Impulse Control National Survey
This research was supported in part by: (1) National Institute on Drug Abuse grants K23-DA15144 (MVP), K12-DA00167 (MNP) and K12-DA0366 (MNP); (2) the National Center for Responsible Gaming; (3) an unrestricted gift for gambling research from the Mohegan Sun casino; and, (4) Women’s Health Research at Yale. A poster presentation of this work was presented at the annual convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy on November 20, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana. The authors thank the members of the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women’s Health Research at Yale for helpful discussions, as well as Meaghan Lavery for her assistance with preparing this manuscript for publication.
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