Sleczka, P., Braun-Michl, B., Schwarzkopf, L., Spörrle, M., Kraus, L.

Why do they gamble and what does it mean? Latent class analysis of gambling motives among young male gambler

2022

Addiction Research & Theory, 1-10. doi: 10.1080/16066359.2022.2074407

 

Sleczka, P., Braun-Michl, B., Schwarzkopf, L., Spörrle, M., & Kraus, L. (2022). Why do they gamble and what does it mean? Latent class analysis of gambling motives among young male gamblers. Addiction Research & Theory, 1-10. doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2022.2074407

Background
Motives to gamble are important in the functional analysis of problematic gambling. This study examines the possibility of classifying young male gamblers based on their motives to gamble and compares the identified groups to validate the obtained classification.

Method
Based on a screening survey among 2,681 young men from Bavaria, n=170 frequent or problem gamblers (Mage= 22.3 years, SD = 2.5) were recruited to participate in a survey with a 2-year follow-up. Latent class analyses (LCA) were conducted based on baseline answers to 10 items measuring five domains of gambling motives: enhancement, coping, self-gratification, and social and financial motives. The identified classes were compared regarding baseline gambling attitudes and impulsiveness as well as gambling behavior and gambling disorder (GD) criteria at baseline and follow-up.

Results
Analyses revealed a four-class solution based on reported motives: ‘primarily fun-motivated gamblers’ (n=100, 58.8%), who gambled mostly for fun; ‘asset and self-gratification seekers’ (n=19, 11.2%) with a high risk of GD at baseline; ‘thrill seekers’ (n=42, 24.7%) with high impulsiveness; and ‘polymotivated coping gamblers’ (n=9, 5.3%) with a higher risk of GD than the ‘primarily fun-motivated gamblers’ in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses.

Conclusions
The identified group differences support the validity of the classification. ‘Thrill seekers’ and ‘polymotivated coping gamblers’ correspond to the impulsive and emotionally vulnerable pathways described by Blaszczynski and Nower (2002) respectively. The two other groups appear to be subtypes of the behaviorally conditioned type. Motivation-based classification offers a promising approach to identifying individuals with an elevated risk of GD.

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