Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 915–927 | Cite as

Testing the Emotional Vulnerability Pathway to Problem Gambling in Culturally Diverse University Students

  • Sandra Hum
  • Sherilene M. CarrEmail author
Original Paper


Loneliness and adapting to an unfamiliar environment can increase emotional vulnerability in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) university students. According to Blaszczynski and Nower’s pathways model of problem and pathological gambling, this emotional vulnerability could increase the risk of problem gambling. The current study examined whether loneliness was associated with problem gambling risk in CALD students relative to their Australian peers. Additionally, differences in coping strategies were examined to determine their buffering effect on the relationship. A total of 463 female and 165 male university students (aged 18–38) from Australian (38%), mixed Australian and CALD (23%) and CALD (28%) backgrounds responded to an online survey of problem gambling behaviour, loneliness, and coping strategies. The results supported the hypothesis that loneliness would be related to problem gambling in CALD students. There was no evidence of a moderating effect of coping strategies. Future research could test whether the introduction of programs designed to alleviate loneliness in culturally diverse university students reduces their risk of developing problem gambling.


University (college) students Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students Problem gambling Loneliness Coping strategies Emotional vulnerability 



We thank Kerry O’Brien and Muhammad Iqbal for making this study available to students at Monash University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health Sciences and PsychologyFederation University AustraliaBallaratAustralia
  2. 2.School of Health Sciences and PsychologyFederation University AustraliaGippslandAustralia

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