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Abstract

Background and aims

A paucity of studies has examined the association between gambling and pain interference. We examined differences in the associations of gambling problem severity and psychiatric disorders among a nationally representative sample of adults with varying levels of pain interference.

Methods

Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were performed on National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions data from 41,987 adult respondents (48% men; 52% women), who were categorized according to two levels of pain interference (i.e., no or low pain interference [NLPI] or moderate or severe pain interference [MSPI]) and three levels of gambling problem severity (i.e., non-gamblers or low-frequency gamblers [NG], low-risk or at-risk gamblers [LRG], and problem or pathological gamblers [PPG]).

Results

MSPI respondents exhibited higher rates of PPG than NLPI respondents. Categories of Axis I disorders and clusters of mood, anxiety and substance-use disorders showed similarly strong associations with problem-gambling severity in MSPI and NLPI groups. Similarly strong associations between Axis II disorders (and each cluster — A, B and C) and problem-gambling severity were also observed in MSPI and NLPI groups. Exploratory analyses suggested potentially stronger relationships between PPG and dysthymia, panic disorder, and dependent personality disorder and LRG and specific phobia in NLPI compared to MSPI respondents.

Discussion and conclusions

While MSPI is associated with PPG, largely similar patterns of associations across pain-interference levels were observed between problem-gambling severity and Axis I and Axis II psychiatric disorders.

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Background and aims

Published research on the relationship between disordered gambling and schizophrenia is limited. However, existing data suggest that individuals with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder may have a high prevalence of co-occurring disordered gambling. As such, effective strategies for screening and assessing gambling-related problems in individuals with psychosis are needed. The goal of this study was to explore the correlates of increased gambling frequency and chasing behavior, a hallmark feature of gambling disorder, in a sample of individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.

Methods

Data from 336 participants who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were used to examine differences between non-gamblers, infrequent gamblers, frequent gamblers who do not report chasing, and frequent gamblers who report chasing on a variety of associated features and symptoms of schizophrenia and disordered gambling.

Results and discussion

The results of the study support the conclusion that chasing behavior in individuals with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder lies on a continuum of severity, with more frequent gamblers endorsing greater chasing. Chasing was also associated with indicators of lower functioning across co-occurring disorders, such as greater problems with alcohol and drugs, greater gambling involvement, and a family history of gambling problems. The findings from the study suggest the utility of screening for chasing behavior as a brief and efficient strategy for assessing risk of gambling problems in individuals with psychotic-spectrum disorders.

Open access
Authors: Rachel L. Sanacora, Seth W. Whiting, Corey E. Pilver, Rani A. Hoff and Marc N. Potenza

Background and aims

Problem and pathological gambling have been associated with elevated rates of both Axis-I and Axis-II psychiatric disorders. Although both problem gambling and psychiatric disorders have been reported as being more prevalent among lower income vs. middle/higher income groups, how income might moderate the relationship between problem-gambling severity and psychopathology is incompletely understood. To examine the associations between problem-gambling severity and psychopathology in lower income and middle/higher income groups.

Methods

Data from the first wave of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) (n = 43,093) were analyzed in adjusted logistic regression models to investigate the relationships between problem-gambling severity and psychiatric disorders within and across income groups.

Results

Greater problem-gambling severity was associated with increased odds of multiple psychiatric disorders for both lower income and middle/higher income groups. Income moderated the association between problem/pathological gambling and alcohol abuse/dependence, with a stronger association seen among middle/higher income respondents than among lower income respondents.

Discussion and conclusions

The findings that problem-gambling severity is related to psychopathology across income groups suggest a need for public health initiatives across social strata to reduce the impact that problem/pathological gambling may have in relation to psychopathology. Middle/higher income populations, perhaps owing to the availability of more “disposable income,” may be at greater risk for co-occurring gambling and alcohol-use psychopathology and may benefit preferentially from interventions targeting both gambling and alcohol use.

Open access
Authors: Melissa Slavin, Corey E. Pilver, Rani A. Hoff, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Marvin A. Steinberg, Loreen Rugle and Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background and aims

Physical fighting and gambling are common risk behaviors among adolescents. Prior studies have found associations among these behaviors in adolescents but have not examined systematically the health and gambling correlates of problem-gambling severity amongst youth stratified by fight involvement.

Methods

Survey data were used from 2,276 Connecticut high school adolescents regarding their physical fight involvement, gambling behaviors and perceptions, and health and functioning. Gambling perceptions and correlates of problem-gambling severity were examined in fighting and non-fighting adolescents.

Results

Gambling perceptions were more permissive and at-risk/problem gambling was more frequent amongst adolescents reporting serious fights versus those denying serious fights. A stronger relationship between problem-gambling severity and regular smoking was observed for adolescents involved in fights.

Discussion and conclusions

The more permissive gambling attitudes and heavier gambling associated with serious fights in high school students suggest that youth who engage in physical fights warrant enhanced prevention efforts related to gambling. The stronger relationship between tobacco smoking and problem-gambling severity amongst youth engaging in serious fights suggest that fighting youth who smoke might warrant particular screening for gambling problems and subsequent interventions.

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Authors: Zu Wei Zhai, Rani A. Hoff, Caitlin F. Magruder, Marvin A. Steinberg, Jeremy Wampler, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin and Marc N. Potenza

Background and aims

A recent call to action highlighted the need to understand the relationship between problem gambling, violence, and health/functioning. As weapon-carrying and gambling behaviors are prevalent in adolescents, this study systematically examined relationships between weapon-carrying status and measures of problem gambling severity and gambling perceptions and attitudes, as well as how weapon-carrying status moderated relationships between problem gambling severity and measures of health/functioning and gambling behavior.

Methods

Participants were 2,301 Connecticut high-school adolescents. χ2 and logistic regression models were conducted.

Results

Weapon-carriers reported greater problem gambling severity, more permissive gambling perceptions, greater parental approval of gambling, and more family gambling concerns, compared to non-weapon-carriers. At-risk/problem gambling was more strongly associated with family, peers, and adult gambling partners among non-weapon-carriers (vs. weapon-carriers) and with machine gambling among weapon-carriers (vs. non-weapon-carriers).

Discussion and conclusions

Greater problem gambling severity and more permissive gambling perceptions and perceived parental approval of gambling in weapon-carrying adolescents suggest that parent–child relationships are important to be considered in prevention efforts. The moderated relationship by weapon-carrying status between problem gambling severity and gambling partners suggests a problem gambling risk group that may be less linked to gambling with traditional social support groups, and this group may benefit from targeted interventions.

Open access
Authors: Robert F. Leeman PhD, Julie A. Patock-Peckham, Rani A. Hoff, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Marvin A. Steinberg, Loreen J. Rugle and Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background and aims

Perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling may relate to adolescents’ engagement in various risky behaviors. To examine this possibility, we analyzed data from a high-school based risk-behavior survey to assess relationships between perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling and adolescent gambling behavior, substance use and related problems. We also evaluated predictions that relationships between perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling and risky behaviors would be particularly strong amongst adolescents reporting high sensation-seeking or impulsivity.

Methods

High-school students (n = 2,805) provided data on risky behaviors, perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling, impulsivity and sensation-seeking. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships with gambling and alcohol, cigarette and marijuana use.

Results

Perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling related significantly to adolescent gambling, all substance-use behaviors as well as alcohol and drug problems. There were significant parental-permissiveness-by-sensation-seeking interactions in multiple models. Relationships between perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling and alcohol-use frequency were particularly strong among those with high sensation-seeking. This relationship also applied to gambling and heavy cigarette smoking, albeit to a lesser extent. Impulsivity related strongly to drug problems among those who perceived their parents to be more and less permissive toward gambling.

Discussion and conclusions

These findings support the relevance of perceived parental permissiveness toward gambling to adolescent risky behaviors. Parenting perceived as less permissive toward gambling appeared to have protective effects on gambling, alcohol and cigarette use, even among those with high sensation-seeking. Reducing parental permissiveness toward gambling may be a valuable intervention goal, particularly for parents of sensation-seeking adolescents.

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Authors: Seth W. Whiting, Marc N. Potenza, Crystal L. Park, Sherry A. McKee, Carolyn M. Mazure and Rani A. Hoff

Background and aims

Gambling disorder and its comorbid diagnoses are observed at higher rates in military veterans than in the general population. A significant research gap exists regarding the relationships of veterans’ life and service experiences to problematic gambling. The present study explored pre-, peri-, and post-deployment factors associated with problem gambling in veterans.

Methods

Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (n = 738; 463 males, and 275 females) completed questionnaires via structured telephone interview. We conducted bivariate and multinomial logistic regression analyses exploring associations among problem-gambling severity and socio-demographic variables, psychiatric comorbidities, and 10 scales of the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory measuring experiences pre-, peri-, and post-deployment.

Results

Approximately 4.2% of veterans indicated at-risk or probable pathological gambling (ARPG) post-deployment (two or more DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling). Bivariate analyses found more severe gambling in males, higher frequencies of post-traumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, traumatic brain injury, panic disorder, and depression in veterans with ARPG, and higher general harassment during deployment, and lower social support and more stressful life events post-deployment in those with ARPG. In multivariable models, both post-deployment factors remained significantly associated with ARPG.

Discussion

The study suggests that problem gambling among veterans is related to service experiences, and particularly to life experiences post-deployment.

Conclusions

Adverse service and life experiences and lack of social support may contribute to the risk of problem gambling in military veterans. Investigation of how Veterans Affairs clinical settings may serve veterans following deployment to prevent behavioral addictions is warranted.

Open access
Authors: Christopher J. Hammond, Corey E. Pilver, Loreen Rugle, Marvin A. Steinberg, Linda C. Mayes, Robert T. Malison, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Rani A. Hoff and Marc N. Potenza MD, PhD

Abstract

Background and aims

Gambling is common in adolescents and at-risk and problem/pathological gambling (ARPG) is associated with adverse measures of health and functioning in this population. Although ARPG commonly co-occurs with marijuana use, little is known how marijuana use influences the relationship between problem-gambling severity and health- and gambling-related measures.

Methods

Survey data from 2,252 Connecticut high school students were analyzed using chi-square and logistic regression analyses.

Results

ARPG was found more frequently in adolescents with lifetime marijuana use than in adolescents denying marijuana use. Marijuana use was associated with more severe and a higher frequency of gambling-related behaviors and different motivations for gambling. Multiple health/functioning impairments were differentially associated with problem-gambling severity amongst adolescents with and without marijuana use. Significant marijuana-use-by-problem-gambling-severity-group interactions were observed for low-average grades (OR = 0.39, 95% CI = [0.20, 0.77]), cigarette smoking (OR = 0.38, 95% CI = [0.17, 0.83]), current alcohol use (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = [0.14, 0.91]), and gambling with friends (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = [0.28, 0.77]). In all cases, weaker associations between problem-gambling severity and health/functioning correlates were observed in the marijuana-use group as compared to the marijuana-non-use group.

Conclusions

Some academic, substance use, and social factors related to problem-gambling severity may be partially accounted for by a relationship with marijuana use. Identifying specific factors that underlie the relationships between specific attitudes and behaviors with gambling problems and marijuana use may help improve intervention strategies.

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Authors: Shane W. Kraus, Mateusz Gola, Joshua B. Grubbs, Ewelina Kowalewska, Rani A. Hoff, Michał Lew-Starowicz, Steve Martino, Steven D. Shirk and Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background and Aims

To address current gaps around screening for problematic pornography use (PPU), we initially developed and tested a six-item Brief Pornography Screen (BPS) that asked about PPU in the past six months.

Methods and Participants

We recruited five independent samples from the U.S. and Poland to evaluate the psychometric properties of the BPS. In Study 1, we evaluated the factor structure, reliability, and elements of validity using a sample of 224 U.S. veterans. One item from the BPS was dropped in Study 1 due to low item endorsement. In Studies 2 and 3, we further investigated the five-item the factor structure of the BPS and evaluated its reliability and validity in two national U.S. representative samples (N = 1,466, N = 1,063, respectively). In Study 4, we confirmed the factor structure and evaluated its validity and reliability using a sample of 703 Polish adults. In Study 5, we calculated the suggested cut-off score for the screen using a sample of 105 male patients seeking treatment for compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD).

Results

Findings from a principal components analysis and confirmatory factor analysis supported a one-factor solution which yielded high internal consistency (α = 0.89–0.90), and analyses further supported elements of construct, convergent, criterion, and discriminant validity of the newly developed screen. Results from a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve suggested a cut-off score of four or higher for detecting possible PPU.

Conclusions

The BPS appears to be psychometrically sound, short, and easy to use in various settings with high potential for use in populations across international jurisdictions.

Open access