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      Psychological factors, sociodemographic characteristics, and coping mechanisms associated with the self-stigma of problem gambling

      , 1 , * , 2

      Journal of Behavioral Addictions

      Akadémiai Kiadó

      self-stigma, problem gambling, coping, self-esteem

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          Abstract

          Background and aims

          Few studies have examined the stigma of problem gambling and little is known about those who internalize this prejudice as damaging self-stigma. This paper aimed to identify psychological factors, sociodemographic characteristics, and coping mechanisms associated with the self-stigma of problem gambling.

          Methods

          An online survey was conducted on 177 Australian adults with a current gambling problem to measure self-stigma, self-esteem, social anxiety, self-consciousness, psychological distress, symptom severity, most problematic gambling form, stigma coping mechanisms, and sociodemographic characteristics.

          Results

          All variables significantly correlated with self-stigma were considered for inclusion in a regression model. A multivariate linear regression indicated that higher levels of self-stigma were associated with: being female, being older, lower self-esteem, higher problem gambling severity score, and greater use of secrecy (standardized coefficients: 0.16, 0.14, −0.33, 0.23, and 0.15, respectively). Strongest predictors in the model were self-esteem, followed by symptom severity score. Together, predictors in the model accounted for 38.9% of the variance in self-stigma.

          Discussion and conclusions

          These results suggest that the self-stigma of problem gambling may be driven by similar mechanisms as the self-stigma of other mental health disorders, and impact similarly on self-esteem and coping. Thus, self-stigma reduction initiatives used for other mental health conditions may be effective for problem gambling. In contrast, however, the self-stigma of problem gambling increased with female gender and older age, which are associated with gaming machine problems. This group should, therefore, be a target population for efforts to reduce or better cope with the self-stigma of problem gambling.

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          Most cited references 56

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          “The measurement of self-esteem,” in

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            The psychological implications of concealing a stigma: a cognitive-affective-behavioral model.

            Many assume that individuals with a hidden stigma escape the difficulties faced by individuals with a visible stigma. However, recent research has shown that individuals with a concealable stigma also face considerable stressors and psychological challenges. The ambiguity of social situations combined with the threat of potential discovery makes possessing a concealable stigma a difficult predicament for many individuals. The increasing amount of research on concealable stigmas necessitates a cohesive model for integrating relevant findings. This article offers a cognitive-affective-behavioral process model for understanding the psychological implications of concealing a stigma. It ends with discussion of potential points of intervention in the model as well as potential future routes for investigation of the model.
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              Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                25 August 2017
                September 2017
                : 6
                : 3
                : 416-424
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University , Bundaberg, QLD, Australia
                [ 2 ] School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University , Sydney, NSW, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Nerilee Hing; School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Locked Bag 3333, Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia; Phone: +61 428 115 291; Fax: +61 7 4150 7080; E-mail: n.hing@ 123456cqu.edu.au
                Article
                10.1556/2006.6.2017.056
                5700730
                28849669
                © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 59, Pages: 9
                Funding
                Funding sources: Financial support for this study was received from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
                Categories
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