Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 451–462 | Cite as

The Validity and Reliability of Four Measures of Gambling Behaviour in a Sample of Singapore University Students

  • David Arthur
  • Wai Leng Tong
  • Chia Pei Chen
  • Ai Yun Hing
  • Miharu Sagara-Rosemeyer
  • Ee Heok Kua
  • Jeanette Ignacio
Original Paper


The primary aim of this study was to determine the reliability and validity of measures for detecting problem gamblers for use with university students in a Singapore context. The four instruments commonly used in gambling research, the DSM-IV, GA-20, SOGS and CPGI were administered to a sample of students (n = 193) from a representative cross section of faculties from one university. The CPGI was found to be the most reliable (α = 0.922) and valid in terms of construct validity as demonstrated by factor analysis. Despite being a lengthy instrument it is recommended that future studies such as randomized controlled trials of problem gambling interventions in Singapore adopt a modified version of the CPGI, made simpler and easier to use with fewer items and more appropriate terminology.


Gambling Validity Reliability DSM-IV GA-20 SOGS CPGI Psychometric property 



The financial support came from Cross-Faculty Research Grant approved by National University of Singapore. The research team would like to thank Dr. Tony Chan Moon Fai (BSc, PhD, CStat, Assistant Professor of School of the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore) for his advice on statistical analysis. The research team would also like to express gratitude to Ms Jean Thng of ALCNS (Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore) for her assistance in recruiting some of the participants, and as well as to the students who participated in this research.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Beaudoin, C. M., & Cox, B. J. (1999). Characteristics of problem gambling in a Canadian context: A preliminary study using a DSM-IV based questionnaire. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 483–487.Google Scholar
  4. Boardman, B., Jones, J., Perry, J., & Wood, M. (2003). Compulsive gambling in Kentucky. Legislative Research Commission. Available from URL:
  5. Cheung, K., Arthur, D., Chan, K. S., Choi, M. K., Ip, Y. C., Kei, K. Y., et al. (2005). A pilot study on gambling behaviours among university students in Hong Kong. In Paper presented at The Third Pan-Pacific Nursing Conference & The Fifth Hong Kong Nursing Symposium on Cancer Care: Excellence in Nursing Practice Innovation and Creativity, 11–12 November 2005.Google Scholar
  6. Custer, R. L., & Custer, L. F. (1978, December). Characteristics of the recovering compulsive gambler. In Paper presented at the Forth Annual Conference on Problem Gambling, Reno, Nevada.Google Scholar
  7. Currie, S. R., Hodgings, D. C., Wang, J. L., el-Guebaly, N., Wynne, H., & Chen, S. (2006). Risk of harm among gamblers in the general population as a function of level of participation in gambling activities. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 101, 570–580. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01392.x.Google Scholar
  8. de Leeuw, J. (2006). Principal component analysis of binary data, applications to roll-call analysis. Accessed on 26 March 2008.
  9. Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (2000). Prevalence estimates of adolescent gambling: A comparison of the SOGS-RA, DSM-IV-J, and the GA 20 questions. Journal of Gambling Studies, 16(2/3), 227–251. doi: 10.1023/A:1009485031719.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Engwall, D., Hunter, R., & Steinberg, M. (2004). Gambling and other risk behaviours on university campuses. Journal of American College Health, 52(6), 245–255. doi: 10.3200/JACH.52.6.245-256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferris, J & Wyne, H. (2001). The Canadian problem gambling index: Final report. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, February.Google Scholar
  12. Gerstein, D. R., Volberg, R. A., Toce, M. T., Harwood, R., et al. (1999). Gambling impact and behaviour study: Report to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Centre at the University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  13. Hardoon, K., Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (2003). Empirical measures vs. perceived gambling severity among youth: Why adolescent problem gamblers fail to seek treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 933–946. doi: 10.1016/S0306-4603(01)00283-0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ladoucer, R., Dube, D., & Bujold, A. (1994). Prevalence of pathological gambling and related problems among college students in the Quebec metropolitan area. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 289–293.Google Scholar
  15. Ladoucer, R., Jacques, C., Chevalier, S., Sevigny, S., Hamel, D., & Allard, D. (2004). Prevalence of gambling habits and problem gambling in Quebec 2002. Québec et Montréal: Université Laval et Institut national de santé public du Québec.Google Scholar
  16. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184–1188.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lesieur, H. R., Cross, J., Frank, M., Welch, M., White, C. M., Rubenstein, G., et al. (1991). Gambling and pathological gambling among university students. Addictive Behaviors, 16, 517–527. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(91)90059-Q.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1993). Revising the South Oaks Gambling Screen in different settings. Journal of Gambling Studies, 9, 213–223. doi: 10.1007/BF01015919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lesieur, H. R. (1994). Epidemiological surveys of pathological gambling: critique and suggestions for modification. Journal of Gambling Studies, 10(4), 385–398. doi: 10.1007/BF02104904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marshall, K., & Wynne, H. (2003). Fighting the odds. Perspectives on labour and income. Statistic Canada, 12(4), 5–13.Google Scholar
  21. Ministry of Community Youth & Sports. (2005). More than half of Singapore gambles; but only 2 in 100 at risk of gambling addiction. Ministry of Community, Youth & Sport. Available from URL:
  22. Ministry of Community, Youth & Sports. (2008). Report of survey on participation in gambling activities among Singapore residents. MCYS, May.Google Scholar
  23. National Council on Problem Gambling. (2007). In Survey on the perceptions and attitudes towards gambling issues. Report by NCPG, October.Google Scholar
  24. Nunnally, J. (1978). Psychometric Theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  25. Oakley-Browne, M. A., Adams, P., & Mobberly, P. M. (2003). Interventions for pathological gambling (Cochrane review). In The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2003. Oxford: Update Software.Google Scholar
  26. Raylu, N., & Oei, T. P. (2004). Role of culture in gambling and problem gambling. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 1087–1114. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2003.09.005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schrans, T., & Schellink, T. (2004). 2003 Nova Scotia gambling prevalence study. Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion, Available from URL:
  28. Shaffer, H. J., Hall, M. N., & Vander, B. J. (1997). Estimating the prevalence of disordered gambling behaviour in the United States and Canada: A meta-analysis. Boston: Harvard Medical School, Division of Addictions.Google Scholar
  29. Smith, G. J., & Wynne, H. (2002). Measuring gambling and problem gambling in Alberta. Using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). Alberta Gaming Research Institute, Available from URL:
  30. Stinchfield, R. (2002). Reliability, validity and classification accuracy of the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS). Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 1–19. doi: 10.1016/S0306-4603(00)00158-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stinchfield, R. (2003). Reliability, validity and classification accuracy of a measure of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 180–182. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp. 160.1.180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stinchfield, R., Govoni, R., & Frisch, G. R. (2005). DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling: reliability, validity, and classification accuracy. The American Journal on Addictions, 14, 73–82. doi: 10.1080/10550490590899871.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stucki, S., & Rihs-Middel, M. (2007). Prevalence of adult problem and pathological gambling between 2000 and 2005: An update. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(3), 245–257. doi: 10.1007/s10899-006-9031-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Toce-Gerstein, M., Gerstein, D. R., & Volberg, R. A. (2003). A hierarchy of gambling disorders in the general population. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 98, 1661–1672. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2003.00545.x.Google Scholar
  35. Toneatto, T. (2008). Reliability and validity of gamblers anonymous twenty questions. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 30(1), 71–78. doi: 10.1007/s10862-007-9070-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Toneatto, T., & Ladouceur, R. (2003). Treatment of pathological gambling: A critical review of the literature. Pychology of Addictive Behaviors, 17(4), 284–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Uebersax, J. S. (2000). Binary factor analysis and multidimensional latent trait/item response theory (IRT) models. Accessed on 29 March 2008.
  38. Ursua, M. P., & Uribelarrea, L. L. (1998). 20 questions of gamblers anonymous: A psychometric study with population of Spain. Journal of Gambling Studies, 14(1), 3–15. doi: 10.1023/A:1023033924960.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wiebe, J., Single, E., & Falkowski-Ham, A. (2001). Measuring gambling and problem gambling on Ontario. Ontario, Canada: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Responsible Gambling Council.Google Scholar
  40. Wong, I. L., & So, E. M. (2003). Prevalence estimates of problem and pathological gambling in Hong Kong. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(7), 1353–1354. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp. 160.7.1353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Arthur
    • 1
  • Wai Leng Tong
    • 1
  • Chia Pei Chen
    • 1
  • Ai Yun Hing
    • 2
  • Miharu Sagara-Rosemeyer
    • 1
  • Ee Heok Kua
    • 3
  • Jeanette Ignacio
    • 1
  1. 1.Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations