With the aim of validating the three pathways hypothesis of pathological gambling (Blaszczynski and Nower in Addiction 97:487–499, 2002) 372 pathological gamblers meeting DSM IV (2000) criteria were assessed via a structured clinical interview as well as being subjected to personality tests and evaluation of their gambling practices. Our results show that it is possible to identify three subgroups corresponding to the three pathways: behaviourally conditioned problem gamblers, emotionally vulnerable problem gamblers and antisocial impulsivist problem gamblers. Our results particularly demonstrate that impulsivist gamblers preferentially choose semi-skilful gambling (horse racing and sports gambling) whereas emotionally vulnerable gamblers are significantly more attracted to games of chance (one-armed bandits, scratch cards, etc.) This led us to propose a functional presentation of the three pathways model which differs somewhat from the Blaszczynski and Nower presentation.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
APA. (2000). DSM-IV-TR. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed text revision ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Baylé, F. J., Krebs, M. O., Martin, C., Bouvard, M. P., & Wender, P. (2003). Version française de la Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS). Revue Canadienne de Psychiatrie, 48(2), 132.
Binde, P. (2013). Gambling in Sweden, the cultural and socio-political context. Addiction, 109, 193–198.
Blaszczynski, A., McConaghy, N., & Frankova, A. (1990). Boredom proneness in pathological gambling. Psychological Reports, 67, 35–42.
Blaszczynski, A., & Nower, L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction, 97, 487–499.
Bonnaire, C. (2011). Towards an integrative treatment of pathological gamblers. Encephale, 37(6), 410–417.
Bonnaire, C., Bungener, C., Varescon, I. (2009). Subtypes of French pathological gamblers: Comparison of sensation seeking, alexithymia and depression scores. Journal of Gambling Studies, 28, 455–471.
Bouju, G., Hardouin, J. B., Boutin, C., Gorwood, P., Le Bourvellec, J. D., Feuillet, F. (2014). A shorter and multidimensional version of the gambling attitudes and beliefs survey (GABS-23). Journal of Gambling Studies, 30(2), 349–367.
Boutin, C. (2010). Gambling: Luck or strategy? Freely choosing the place of game in your life. Montréal: les éditions de l'homme.
Breen, R. B., & Zuckerman, M. (1999). ‘Chasing’ in gambling behavior: Personality and cognitive determinants. Personality Individual Differences, 27, 1097–1111.
Caillois, R. (1957) Les jeux et les hommes, Gallimard, (On Game and men).
Chakroun-Vinciguerra, N., Faytout, M., Pèlissolo, A., & Swendsen, J. (2005). French validation of a short version of the temparament and character inventory (TCI-125). Journal de Thérapie Comportementale et Cognitive, 15(1), 27–33.
Challet-Bouju, G., Hardouin, J. B., Vénisse, J. L., Romo, L., Valleur, M., Magalon, D., et al. (2014). Study protocol: The JEU cohort study—transversal multiaxial evaluation and 5-year follow-up of a cohort of French gamblers. BMC Psychiatry, 14, 226.
Cloninger, C. R. (1992). The temperament and character inventory-125 (TCI-125; Version 1).
Cloninger, C. R., Svrakic, D. M., & Przybeck, T. R. (1993). A psychobiological model of temperament and character. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50(12), 975–990.
Costes, J. M., Pousset, M., Eroukmanoff, V., Le Nezet, O., Richard, J. B., Guignard, R., Beck, F., Arwidson, P. (2011). [Rate and practices of gambling in 2010]. Tendances, p 77.
Graham, J. R., & Lowenfeld, B. H. (1986). Personality dimensions of the pathological gambler. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 2, 58–66.
Inserm. (2008). Jeux de hasard et d’argent. Inserm: Expertise collective.
Jacobs, D. F. (1988). Evidence for a common dissociative like reaction among addicts. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 4, 27–37.
Lecrubier, Y., Sheehan, D. V., Weiller, E., Amorim, P., Bonora, I., Sheehan, K. H., et al. (1997). The mini international neuropsychiatric interview (MINI). A short diagnostic structured interview: Reliability and validity according to the CIDI. European Psychiatry, 12, 224–231.
Ledgerwood, D. M., & Petry, N. M. (2006). Psychological experience of gambling and subtypes of pathological gamblers. Psychiatry Research, 144, 17–27.
Ledgerwood, D. M., & Petry, N. M. (2010). Subtyping pathological gamblers based on impulsivity, depression, and anxiety. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(4), 680–688.
Lejoyeux, M. (1999). Assesment scales of pathological gambling. Neuropsy, 14, 67–71.
Lesieur, H. R. (2001). Cluster analysis of types of inpatient pathological gamblers. Dissertation Abstracts International, 62B, 2065.
Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The South Oaks gambling screen (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184–1188.
Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1991). When lady luck loses: Women and compulsive gambling. In N. Van Den Bergh (Ed.), Feminist perspectives on addictions (pp. 181–197). New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Martins, S. S., Ghandour, L. A., & Storr, C. L. (2011). Gambling behavior subtypes among respondents with gambling-related problems in a population-based sample. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 30(2), 169–180.
McCormick, R. A. (1987). Pathological gambling: A parsimonious need state model. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 3, 257–263.
Milosevic, A., & Ledgerwood, D. M. (2010). The subtyping of pathological gambling: A comprehensive review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(8), 988–998.
Moran, E. (1970). Varieties of pathological gambling. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 116, 593–597.
Nadeau, L., Valleur, M. (2014). [Pascasius or understanding addictions] (1561), Presses Universitaires de Montréal.
Pélissolo, A., & Lèpine, J. (2000). Normative data and factor structure of the temperament and character inventory (TCI) in the French version. Psychiatry Research, 94, 67–76.
Planzer, S., Gray, H. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Associations between national gambling policies and disordered gambling prevalence rates within Europe. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37, 217–229.
Potenza, M. N. (2006). Should addictive disorders include non-substance-related conditions? Addiction, 101(Suppl 1), 142–151.
Shaffer, H. J., & Hall, M. N. (2001). Updating and refining prevalence estimates of disordered gambling behaviour in the United States and Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 92, 168–172.
Sharpe, L. (2002). A reformulated cognitive-behavioural model of problem gambling: A biopsychosocial perspective. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 1–25.
Sproston, K., Erens, B., & Orford, J. (2000). Gambling behaviour in Britain: Results from the gambling prevalence survey. London: National Center for Social Research.
Steel, Z., & Blaszczynski, A. (1996). The factorial structure of pathological gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 12, 3–20.
Stewart, S. H., & Zack, M. (2008). Development and psychometric evaluation of a three-dimensional gambling motives questionnaire. Addiction, 103, 1110–1117.
Toneatto, T., & Millar, G. (2004). Assessing and treating problem gambling: Empirical status and promising trends. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49, 517–525.
Turner, N. E., Jain, U., Spence, W., & Zangeneh, M. (2008). Pathways to pathological gambling: Component analysis of variables related to pathological gambling. International Gambling Studies, 8, 281–298.
Vachon, D. D., & Bagby, R. M. (2009). Pathological gambling subtypes. Psychological Assessment, 21, 608–615.
Valleur, M., Bucher, C. (2006). [Pathological gambling] Armand Colin.
Ward, M. F., Wender, P. H., & Reimherr, F. W. (1993). The wender utah rating scale: An aid in the retrospective diagnosis of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 885–890.
Wardle, H., Moody, A., Spence, S., Orford, J., Volberg, R., & Jotangia, D. (2011). British gambling prevalence survey 2010. London: National Center for Social Research.
Wardle, H., Sproston, K., Orford, J., Erens, B., Griffiths, M., & Constantine, R. (2007). British gambling prevalence survey 2007. London: National Center for Social Research.
We wish to sincerely thank all the staff who contributed to this study (JEU group), for their valuable assistance and significant investment. A special thanks to those who collected the data. Members of the JEU Group are: Marie Grall-Bronnec, Gaëlle Challet-Bouju, Jean-Luc Vénisse, Lucia Romo, Cindy Legauffre, Caroline Dubertret, Irène Codina, Marc Valleur, Marc Auriacombe, Mélina Fatséas, Jean-Marc Alexandre, Pierre-Michel Llorca, Isabelle Chéreau-Boudet, Christophe Lançon, David Magalon, Michel Reynaud and Mohamed-Ali Gorsane. We also wish to thank Aurélie Wellenstein from the Marmottan Hospital’s resource center for the bibliographic research. This study was supported by both the joint support of the French Inter-departmental Mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction (MILDT) and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), as part of the call for research projects launched by these two organizations in 2007, and a grant from the French Ministry of Health (PHRC 2009–RCB 2008-A01188-47). There were no constraints on publishing. This research was conducted at the initiative of and coordinated by the Clinical Investigation Unit BALANCED “BehaviorAL AddictioNs and ComplEx mood Disorders” of the University Hospital of Nantes, who is the sponsor of this study.
Conflict of interest
M.G.B., J.L.V. and G.C.B. declare that the University Hospital of Nantes has received funding from gambling industry (Française Des Jeux and Pari Mutuel Urbain) in the form of a sponsorship which supports the gambling section of the BALANCED Unit (the Reference Centre for Excessive Gambling). Scientific independence towards gambling industry operators is warranted. MV, IC, CL, DM, MF, ICB, MAG and AG declare that they have no conflicts of interest. There were no constraints on publishing.
About this article
Cite this article
Valleur, M., Codina, I., Vénisse, JL. et al. Towards a Validation of the Three Pathways Model of Pathological Gambling. J Gambl Stud 32, 757–771 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-015-9545-y
- Problem gambling
- Gambling subtypes
- Co morbidity
- Pathway model