Types of past-year gambling activities influenced by social motivations and gender

Michael Ellery

Abstract


Emotion-related reasons for gambling have been identified as loading onto three main factors: gambling to cope with unpleasant experiences, gambling to enhance pleasant experiences, and gambling to increase affiliation with others.  Given that affective motivations may play different roles for men and women, 436 undergraduates (188 male, 247 female, 1 missing gender data; mean age = 20.8 years, SD = 5.3), who had gambled on at least two occasions in the last year, completed an online questionnaire that included the Gambling Motives Questionnaire, the Problem Gambling Severity Index, and past-year gambling activities. Those in the upper and lower quartile on the social motives subscale of the GMQ were classified into high (n = 109) and low (n = 113) socially-motivated gambling groups.  Women were expected to score higher on social gambling motives, and those in the high social motives category were expected to score higher on the coping and enhancement subscales of the GMQ, as well as on the PGSI.  Low socially motivated gamblers were expected to be more likely to endorse past year gambling on relatively solitary activities, such as EGM play.  High socially motivated gamblers were expected to be more likely to endorse past year gambling on more social activities, such as poker.  Preliminary results suggest that, interestingly, men scored higher on social motives than women, and that those in the high social motives category did score higher on coping and enhancement motives, as well as on problem gambling severity.  Social motives and gender influenced past year gambling activities in many of the categories examined, but not always as expected.  The results support the conclusions that problem gambling and social gambling are not mutually exclusive, and that gender and social motives influence the types of gambling activties people engage in, but not always in ways we might expect.

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