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      Mood, motives, and money: An examination of factors that differentiate online and non-online young adult gamblers

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          Background and aims

          To date, there is a lack of research on psychological factors associated with young adult online gambling. The current study examined differences between young adult online and non-online gamblers, using information gathered at baseline and over 30 days during which participants reported on their moods, gambling behaviors, and reasons for initiating and discontinuing gambling.


          Participants were 108 young adult regular gamblers (i.e., gambling four or more times in the past month) who participated in a 30-day daily diary study.


          Male gender, baseline coping motives for gambling and negative affect averaged across the 30 days emerged as significant correlates of online gambling, over and above other background variables. Online gamblers also scored higher on a baseline measure of pathological gambling. Over the 30 days of self-monitoring, online gamblers spent more time gambling, and won more money gambling, whereas non-online gamblers consumed more alcohol while gambling. Online gambling was more often initiated to make money, because of boredom and to demonstrate skills, whereas non-online gambling was more often initiated for social reasons and for excitement. Online gambling was more often discontinued because of boredom, fatigue or distress, whereas non-online gambling was discontinued because friends stopped gambling or mood was improved.

          Discussion and conclusions

          This study provides preliminary evidence that coping strategies may be particularly important to reduce risks for online gamblers, whereas strategies for non-online gamblers should focus on the social aspects of gambling.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Sociodemographic correlates of internet gambling: findings from the 2007 british gambling prevalence survey.

          This study provides the first analysis ever made of a representative national sample of Internet gamblers. Using participant data from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey (n = 9,003 adults aged 16 years and over), all participants who had gambled online, bet online, and/or used a betting exchange in the last 12 months (n = 476) were compared with all other gamblers who had not gambled via the Internet. Overall, results showed a number of significant sociodemographic differences between Internet gamblers and non-Internet gamblers. When compared to non-Internet gamblers, Internet gamblers were more likely to be male, relatively young adults, single, well educated, and in professional/managerial employment. Further analysis of DSM-IV scores showed that the problem gambling prevalence rate was significantly higher among Internet gamblers than among non-Internet gamblers. Results suggest that the medium of the Internet may be more likely to contribute to problem gambling than gambling in offline environments.
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            A qualitative investigation of problem gambling as an escape-based coping strategy.

            There has been a small but growing body, of largely quantitative research, that has examined problem gambling in the context of poor coping skills. These studies suggest that gambling may be used as an alternative method of coping that some will use to distract themselves from having to deal with problems in their lives.
              • Record: found
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              A comparative profile of the Internet gambler: Demographic characteristics, game-play patterns, and problem gambling status


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                March 2016
                : 5
                : 1
                : 68-76
                [1 ] University of Toronto , Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [2 ] Dalhousie University , Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
                [3 ] Western University , London, Ontario, Canada
                [4 ] York University , Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Abby L. Goldstein, PhD, Associate Professor; Applied Psychology & Human Development, OISE, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, 9-174, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6, Canada; Phone: +1-416-978-0703; E-mail: abbyl.goldstein@
                © 2016 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                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: 47, Pages: 27
                Funding sources: This study was funded by a Level III Research Award from the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre.
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