Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 617–632 | Cite as

Trait Mindfulness, Problem-Gambling Severity, Altered State of Awareness and Urge to Gamble in Poker-Machine Gamblers

  • Charles F. A. McKeith
  • Adam J. Rock
  • Gavin I. Clark
Original Paper


In Australia, poker-machine gamblers represent a disproportionate number of problem gamblers. To cultivate a greater understanding of the psychological mechanisms involved in poker-machine gambling, a repeated measures cue-reactivity protocol was administered. A community sample of 38 poker-machine gamblers was assessed for problem-gambling severity and trait mindfulness. Participants were also assessed regarding altered state of awareness (ASA) and urge to gamble at baseline, following a neutral cue, and following a gambling cue. Results indicated that: (a) urge to gamble significantly increased from neutral cue to gambling cue, while controlling for baseline urge; (b) cue-reactive ASA did not significantly mediate the relationship between problem-gambling severity and cue-reactive urge (from neutral cue to gambling cue); (c) trait mindfulness was significantly negatively associated with both problem-gambling severity and cue-reactive urge (i.e., from neutral cue to gambling cue, while controlling for baseline urge); and (d) trait mindfulness did not significantly moderate the effect of problem-gambling severity on cue-reactive urge (from neutral cue to gambling cue). This is the first study to demonstrate a negative association between trait mindfulness and cue-reactive urge to gamble in a population of poker-machine gamblers. Thus, this association merits further evaluation both in relation to poker-machine gambling and other gambling modalities.


Poker-machines Gambling cue-reactivity Trait mindfulness Altered state of awareness Slot-machines Urge 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval and Participant Consent

Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the University of New England Human Research Ethics Committee. All participants chose to participate by clicking on a study invitation link and provided informed consent to participate prior to beginning the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles F. A. McKeith
    • 1
  • Adam J. Rock
    • 1
  • Gavin I. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Behavioural, Cognitive, and Social SciencesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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