Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 83–96 | Cite as

Alexithymia and Gambling: A Risk Factor for All Gamblers?

  • Céline Bonnaire
  • Catherine Bungener
  • Isabelle Varescon
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to investigate alexithymia (in relation with depression) in three groups of French gamblers (n = 186) recruited in their gambling location: at the racetracks (n = 80 males; mean age 28.1 years), in the slot machine rooms (n = 65; 29 males, 36 females; mean age 34.6 years), and in the traditional gaming rooms (n = 41 males; mean age 36 years). Gambling behavior was measured by the South Oaks Gambling Screen and DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling, Alexithymia by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and depression with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-13). For racetracks and slot machine gambling, pathological gamblers differed from non-pathological gamblers, regarding their alexithymia scores. These results remained stable after controlling for depression scores among the racetracks gamblers only. The relationship between alexithymia and depression depends on the type of pathological gambler. These findings are consistent with the idea of identifying clinically distinct subgroups of gamblers.


Pathological gambling Types of games Alexithymia Depression Subtypes of gamblers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Bonnaire
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Bungener
    • 1
  • Isabelle Varescon
    • 1
  1. 1.Sorbonne Paris Cité, Laboratory of Psychopathology and Health Psychology, Psychological Institute of Paris Descartes UniversityParis Descartes UniversityBoulogne-BillancourtFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Sante EA 4057, Institut de PsychologieUniversité Paris DescartesBoulogne-BillancourtFrance

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