A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling

Alex Blaszczynski, Lia Nower

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1181 Scopus citations

Abstract

At the moment, there is no single conceptual theoretical model of gambling that adequately accounts for the multiple biological, psychological and ecological variables contributing to the development of pathological gambling. Advances in this area are hampered by imprecise definitions of pathological gambling, failure to distinguish between gambling problems and problem gamblers and a tendency to assume that pathological gamblers form one, homogeneous population with similar psychological principles applying equally to all members of the class. The purpose of this paper is to advance a pathways model that integrates the complex array of biological, personality, developmental, cognitive, learning theory and ecological determinants of problem and pathological gambling. It is proposed that three distinct subgroups of gamblers manifesting impaired control over their behaviour can be identified. These groups include (a) behaviourally conditioned problem gamblers, (b) emotionally vulnerable problem gamblers and (c) antisocial, impulsivist problem gamblers. The implications for clinical management are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-499
Number of pages13
JournalAddiction
Volume97
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Biology of gambling
  • Impulsivity
  • Pathological gambling
  • Pathway model

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