Disordered gambling and attentional bias: the mediating role of risk-taking

Ciccarelli, M., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Cosenza, M., Nigro, G. and D'Olimpio, F., 2020. Disordered gambling and attentional bias: the mediating role of risk-taking. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, pp. 496-500. ISSN 0165-0327

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Background: Previous research has emphasized the importance of attentional bias in the maintenance of both adult and adolescent disordered gambling. There is a substantial body of empirical evidence demonstrating facilitated attention and difficulty in disengagement from gambling stimuli among disordered gamblers, but no study has ever experimentally investigated the association between attentional bias and risk-taking behavior in gambling. The aim of the present study was to examine the interrelationship between attentional bias for gambling stimuli, risk-taking attitude, and severity of gambling involvement.

Methods: The present study recruited 70 male adults from gambling venues to participate in the experiment. Gambling severity, attentional bias, and risk-taking were assessed utilizing the South Oaks Gambling Screen, the Modified Posner Task, and the Balloon Analogue Risk Task, respectively.

Results: Disordered gamblers showed greater readiness to detect gambling stimuli and took more risks than non-disordered gamblers. Regression analysis showed that being of a young age, automatic facilitated attention for gambling cues, and risk-proneness significantly predicted problem gambling. Additionally, a path analysis was performed to test if automatic facilitated attention towards gambling was on the path from risk-taking to gambling severity, or if risk-taking mediated the impact of facilitation biases on gambling severity. The results indicated that attentional bias predicted gambling severity both directly and indirectly via risk-taking.

Limitations: The modest sample size and the absence of female gamblers limited the generalizability of the results.

Conclusions: The present findings are compatible with the view that an automatic detection of gambling stimuli is responsible for greater riskiness that, in turn, fosters gambling problems.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Affective Disorders
Creators: Ciccarelli, M., Griffiths, M.D., Cosenza, M., Nigro, G. and D'Olimpio, F.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 1 July 2020
Volume: 272
ISSN: 0165-0327
S0165032719329611Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 May 2020 13:14
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:03
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39804

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