Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping Strategies in Adult Pathological Gamblers and Their Mediating Role with Anxious-Depressive Symptomatology

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10899-017-9675-5

Cite this article as:
Jauregui, P., Onaindia, J. & Estévez, A. J Gambl Stud (2017). doi:10.1007/s10899-017-9675-5


Coping plays a central role in the appearance and persistence of pathological gambling. Anxious and depressive symptomatology also influence pathological gambling and are related to coping. This study aimed to analyze pathological gamblers’ coping strategies and styles, as well as associated anxious and depressive symptomatology. The study sample included 167 male pathological gamblers (mean age = 39.29 years) and 107 non-gamblers (mean age = 33.43 years). Measures of gambling, coping, and anxious and depressive symptomatology were used. Results showed that pathological gamblers’ scored higher in all the maladaptive coping strategies, problem- and emotion-focused disengagement, and disengagement subscales. These subscales also correlated with pathological gambling, and anxious and depressive symptomatology. Pathological gamblers also scored higher in emotional expression and emotion-focused engagement, with no differences in the rest of the adaptive coping strategies. Coping was also found to predict pathological gambling and anxious and depressive symptomatology. It was found that coping mediated the relationship between pathological gambling and anxious symptomatology when controlling for the effect of age. Specifically, social withdrawal and disengagement stood out as mediators. These results provide practical information for use in clinical settings with people diagnosed with pathological gambling.


Pathological gambling Coping Anxiety Depression Adults 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Eusko Jaurlaritza
  • Programa Predoctoral de Formación de Personal Investigador No Doctor
Universidad de Deusto
  • Programa de Ayudas para la Formación de Personal Investigador

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and EducationUniversity of DeustoBilbaoSpain

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