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Background and aims

The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is one of the most widely used screening tools for problem gambling (PG). However, to date, no empirically validated adaptation of the instrument to Spanish-speaking countries exists.

Methods

A sample of 659 sports bettors (M age = 35.1 years, SD = 10.12, 74.2% males) were recruited through an online research panel. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to confirm its construct validity. The participants were administered the Spanish version of the PGSI, along with the adaptation to Spanish of the DSM-IV PG instrument for convergent validity.

Results

The CFA of the Spanish PGSI showed satisfactory construct validity. The internal consistency (αordinal = .97) as well as its convergent validity with the DSM-IV scores (r = .77, p < .001) was good.

Conclusion

The Spanish adaptation of the PGSI offers satisfactory validity and reliability properties, and is a good psychometric instrument for exploring the social consequences of PG in Spanish-speaking contexts.

Open access

Background

Impulsivity is currently more commonly regarded as multifaceted, comprising both motor and cognitive subdomains. However, it is less clear how distinct these subdomains are, and the extent to which they interact and draw upon the same psychological resources.

Methods

The present experiment comprised 70 regular (non-problem) gamblers, and investigated the potential to induce impulsivity transfer effects within an electronic gambling context. Original and existing harm-minimization approaches were tested for their efficacy in inducing motor cautiousness during an electronic slot machine simulation. Participants were exposed to a forced discriminatory motor choice procedure, or pop-up responsible gambling messages that either contained emotive or non-emotive responsible gambling content. The subsequent impact these interventions had on delay discounting and reflection impulsivity was also measured using the 27-item Monetary Choice Questionnaire and Information Sampling Task, respectively.

Results

Findings demonstrated that only original harm-minimization approaches, which force the gambler to engage in discriminatory motor choice procedures during gambling, were successful in inducing motor cautiousness. However, both the discriminatory choice procedure and emotive message harm-minimization approaches were successful in facilitating cognitive choice, even though the emotive message intervention was unsuccessful in facilitating motor response inhibition, suggesting both an indirect motor cautiousness route, and a more direct route to improved cognitive choice during gambling.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that decision-making during gambling can be improved by making simple structural changes to slot machine platforms, by encouraging active engagement in motor processes, which result in a transfer of cautiousness to wider cognitive domains.

Open access

Background

Over the past two decades, problem gambling has become a public health issue and research from many countries indicates that a small but significant minority of individuals are problem gamblers. In Norway, the prevalence of problem gambling among adults is estimated to be just less than 1%. To help minimize the harm from gambling, the Norwegian government’s gambling operator (Norsk Tipping) has introduced several responsible gambling initiatives to help protect players from developing gambling problems (e.g., limit-setting tools, voluntary self-exclusion, personalized feedback, etc.).

Aim

The aim of this study was to determine whether the receiving of personalized feedback exceeding 80% of a personally set monetary personal limit had an effect on subsequent playing behavior compared to those gamblers who did not receive personalized feedback.

Methods

Out of 54,002 players, a total of 7,884 players (14.5%) received at least one piece of feedback that they had exceeded 80% of their personal global monthly loss limit between January and March 2017.

Results

Using a matched-pairs design, results showed that those gamblers receiving personalized feedback in relation to limit-setting showed significant reductions in the amount of money gambled.

Conclusion

The findings of this study will be of great value to many stakeholder groups including researchers in the gambling studies field, the gambling industry, regulators, and policymakers.

Open access

Background and aims

Responsible gambling (RG) tools and initiatives have been introduced by social RG operators as a means to help prevent problem gambling. One such initiative is the use of mandatory play breaks (i.e., forced session terminations). Recommendations by RG experts for gambling operators to implement mandatory play breaks appear to be intuitively sensible but are not evidence-based.

Methods

The present authors were given access by the Norwegian gambling operator Norsk Tipping to data from 7,190 video lottery terminal (VLT) players who gambled between January and March 2018. This generated 218,523 playing sessions for further analysis. Once a gambling session reaches a 1-hr play duration, a forced session termination of 90 s comes into effect. This study evaluated the effect of mandatory play breaks on subsequent gambling.

Results

Compared to similar sessions identified using a matched-pairs design, results demonstrated that there was no significant effect of the forced termination regarding the amount of money staked in the subsequent gambling session or on the time duration of the subsequent gambling session.

Conclusions

Although expenditure was higher in the subsequent 24 hr for terminated sessions, this is likely due to higher intensity gamblers being more likely to trigger mandatory breaks. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Open access

Background

Sex addiction is a disorder that can have serious adverse functional consequences. Treatment effectiveness research for sex addiction is currently underdeveloped, and interventions are generally based on the guidelines for treating other behavioral (as well as chemical) addictions. Consequently, there is a need to clinically evaluate tailored treatments that target the specific symptoms of sex addiction. It has been proposed that second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) may be an appropriate treatment for sex addiction because in addition to helping individuals increase perceptual distance from craving for desired objects and experiences, some SG-MBIs specifically contain meditations intended to undermine attachment to sex and/or the human body. The current study conducts the first clinical investigation into the utility of mindfulness for treating sex addiction.

Case presentation

An in-depth clinical case study was conducted involving an adult male suffering from sex addiction that underwent treatment utilizing an SG-MBI known as Meditation Awareness Training (MAT). Following completion of MAT, the participant demonstrated clinically significant improvements in addictive sexual behavior, as well as reductions in depression and psychological distress. The MAT intervention also led to improvements in sleep quality, job satisfaction, and non-attachment to self and experiences. Salutary outcomes were maintained at 6-month follow-up.

Discussion and conclusion

The current study extends the literature exploring the applications of mindfulness for treating behavioral addiction, and findings indicate that further clinical investigation into the role of mindfulness for treating sex addiction is warranted.

Open access

Abstract

Purpose

In the last five years, scientific interest into the potential applications of Buddhist-derived interventions (BDIs) for the treatment of problem gambling has been growing. This paper reviews current directions, proposes conceptual applications, and discusses integration issues relating to the utilisation of BDIs as problem gambling treatments.

Method

Aliterature search and evaluation of the empirical literature for BDIs as problem gambling treatments was undertaken.

Results

To date, research has been limited to cross-sectional studies and clinical case studies and findings indicate that Buddhist-derived mindfulness practices have the potential to play an important role in ameliorating problem gambling symptomatology. As an adjunct to mindfulness, other Buddhist-derived practices are also of interest including: (i) insight meditation techniques (e.g., meditation on ‘emptiness’) to overcome avoidance and dissociation strategies, (ii) ‘antidotes’ (e.g., patience, impermanence, etc.) to attenuate impulsivity and salience-related issues, (iii) loving-kindness and compassion meditation to foster positive thinking and reduce conflict, and (iv) ‘middle-way’ principles and ‘bliss-substitution’ to reduce relapse and temper withdrawal symptoms. In addition to an absence of controlled treatment studies, the successful operationalisation of BDIs as effective treatments for problem gambling may be impeded by issues such as a deficiency of suitably experienced BDI clinicians, and the poor provision by service providers of both BDIs and dedicated gambling interventions.

Conclusions

Preliminary findings for BDIs as problem gambling treatments are promising, however, further research is required.

Open access

Background

The umbrella term “Internet addiction” has been criticized for its lack of specificity given the heterogeneity of potentially problematic behaviors that can be engaged in online as well as different underlying etiological mechanisms. This has led to the naming of specific online addictions, the most notable being Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD).

Methods

Using the contemporary literature concerning IGD and cognate topics, issues and concerns relating to the concept of IGD are examined.

Results

Internet addiction and IGD are not the same, and distinguishing between the two is conceptually meaningful. Similarly, the diagnosis of IGD as proposed in the appendix of the latest (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) remains vague regarding whether or not games need to be engaged in online, stating that IGD typically involves specific Internet games, but can also include offline games, adding to the lack of clarity. A number of authors have voiced concerns regarding the viability of including the word “Internet” in IGD, and instead proposed to use the term “video gaming disorder” or simply “gaming disorder,” suggesting addiction to video gaming can also occur offline.

Conclusion

The DSM-5 has caused more confusion than clarity regarding the disorder, reflected by researchers in the field contesting a supposedly reached consensus for IGD diagnosis.

Open access

Background and aims

The current DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) has led to a number of issues and concerns that we highlighted in our recent paper (Kuss, Griffiths, & Pontes, 2017). Experts in the field responded to our evaluation of these issues resulting in six commentaries.

Methods

In this paper, we offer responses to the six commentaries to move the scientific field forward. All of the responses to our original paper highlighted many conceptual, theoretical, and/or methodological problems with the proposed IGD diagnosis as outlined in the DSM-5. We outline some ways forward in overcoming issues and concerns in the gaming studies field.

Results

We argue that rather than stigmatizing gaming per se, the role of scientists and practitioners is to establish a clear-cut distinction between someone who may use games excessively but non-problematically and someone who is experiencing significant impairment in their daily lives as a consequence of their excessive gaming. This responsibility needs to be shared by popular media who are often quick to build a moral panic around gaming behaviors, often based on cherry-picking specific case studies and pieces of research which support their headlines.

Conclusion

Researchers, practitioners, gaming developers, and the media need to work together and collaboratively to build a realistic and comprehensive understanding of gaming as a normal, enjoyable, and often beneficial sociocultural practice, which for a small minority of excessive users may be associated with the experience of addiction-related symptoms that may require professional support.

Open access

Aim

Research into social networking addiction has greatly increased over the last decade. However, the number of validated instruments assessing addiction to social networking sites (SNSs) remains few, and none have been validated in the Italian language. Consequently, this study tested the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS), as well as providing empirical data concerning the relationship between attachment styles and SNS addiction.

Methods

A total of 769 participants were recruited to this study. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multigroup analyses were applied to assess construct validity of the Italian version of the BSMAS. Reliability analyses comprised the average variance extracted, the standard error of measurement, and the factor determinacy coefficient.

Results

Indices obtained from the CFA showed the Italian version of the BSMAS to have an excellent fit of the model to the data, thus confirming the single-factor structure of the instrument. Measurement invariance was established at configural, metric, and strict invariances across age groups, and at configural and metric levels across gender groups. Internal consistency was supported by several indicators. In addition, the theoretical associations between SNS addiction and attachment styles were generally supported.

Conclusion

This study provides evidence that the Italian version of the BSMAS is a psychometrically robust tool that can be used in future Italian research into social networking addiction.

Open access

Objectives

To examine whether the “prevention paradox” applies to British individuals in relation to gambling-related harm.

Methods

Data were derived from 7,756 individuals participating in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010, a comprehensive interview-based survey conducted in Great Britain between November 2009 and May 2010. Gambling-related harm was assessed using an adapted version of the DSM-IV Pathological Gambling criteria. The previous year’s prevalence of problem gamblers was examined using the Problem Gambling Severity Index. Gambling involvement was measured by gambling frequency and gambling participation (gambling volume as expressed by time and money spent gambling).

Results

The prevalence rates for past-year gambling harms were dependence harm (16.4%), social harm (2.2%), and chasing losses (7.9%). Gambling-related harms were distributed across low- to moderate-risk gamblers (and not limited to just problem gamblers) and were reported by the majority of gamblers who were non-high time and spend regular gamblers than high time and spend regular gamblers.

Conclusions

The prevention paradox is a promising way of examining gambling-related harm. This suggests that prevention of gambling might need to consider the population approach to minimizing gambling harm.

Open access