Mentalizing failures, emotional dysregulation, and cognitive distortions among adolescent problem gamblers

Ciccarelli, M., Nigro, G., D’Olimpio, F., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Cosenza, M., 2021. Mentalizing failures, emotional dysregulation, and cognitive distortions among adolescent problem gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 37, pp. 283-298. ISSN 1573-3602

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Over the past decade, several studies have investigated the relationship between cognitive distortions and emotion regulation among adolescent gamblers, demonstrating the exacerbating role of alcohol consumption when co-occurring with gambling problems. An important construct, that to date has been largely neglected, is mentalizing (i.e. the ability to refect on one’s own and others’ mental states). The aim of the present study was (for the frst time) to investigate the relative contribution of mentalization, emotional dysregulation, cognitive distortions, and alcohol consumption among adolescent gamblers. A total of 396 students (69.2% females) aged 14–19 years were recruited from secondary schools in Southern Italy. Assessment measures included the South Oaks Gambling Screen Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA), the Refective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ-8), the Diffculties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS), and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identifcation Test (AUDIT). Regression analysis showed that, along with male gender, the best predictors of adolescent gambling were scores on two GRCS subscales (i.e., ‘inability to stop gambling’ and ‘interpretative bias’), the RFQ-8’s ‘uncertainty about mental states’ dimension, and the DERS ‘impulse control difculties’ factor, with the overall model explaining more than one-third of the total variance. The results clearly indicated that, along with gambling-related cognitive distortions, uncertainty about mental states, and difculties remaining in control of one’s behavior when experiencing negative emotions contributed signifcantly to problematic gambling among adolescents.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Ciccarelli, M., Nigro, G., D’Olimpio, F., Griffiths, M.D. and Cosenza, M.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: March 2021
Volume: 37
ISSN: 1573-3602
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 04 Aug 2020 14:13
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:06

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