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The joint role of impulsivity and distorted cognitions in recreational and problem gambling: A cluster analytic approach.

  • Devos, Mr Gaëtan1
  • Clark, Luke2
  • Bowden-Jones, Henrietta3
  • Grall-Bronnec, Marie4
  • Challet-Bouju, Gaëlle4
  • Khazaal, Yasser5
  • Maurage, Pierre6
  • Billieux, Joël7
  • 1 Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology (LEP), Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Service Universitaire d'Addictologie de Lyon (SUAL), CH Le Vinatier, F-69500, Bron, France; Scientific Research and Publication Cell (CRPS), Le Beau Vallon, Namur, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
  • 2 Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 National Problem Gambling Clinic & Dept of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.
  • 4 CHU Nantes, Addictology and Psychiatry Department, Nantes, France; Université de Nantes, Université de Tours, UMR INSERM 1246 SHERE, Nantes, France. , (France)
  • 5 Addiction Division, Mental Health and Psychiatry Department, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland; Addiction medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Lausanne University Hospital and Lausanne University, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 6 Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology (LEP), Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 7 Addictive and Compulsive Behaviours Lab. Institute for Health and Behaviour, University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centre for Excessive Gambling, Lausanne University Hospitals (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
Published Article
Journal of affective disorders
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.096
PMID: 31539682


The Pathways Model (Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) posits that problem gambling is a heterogeneous disorder with distinct subgroups (behaviorally conditioned gamblers, emotionally vulnerable gamblers, and antisocial-impulsivist gamblers). Impulsivity traits and gambling-related cognitions are recognized as two key psychological factors in the onset and maintenance of problem gambling. To date, these constructs have been explored separately, and their joint role in determining problem gambling subtypes has received little attention. The goal of our study was to identify subgroups of gamblers based on impulsivity traits and gambling-related cognitions, and to determine whether this approach is consistent with the Pathways model. Gamblers from the community (N = 709) and treatment-seeking pathological gamblers (N = 122) completed questionnaires measuring gambling habits, disordered gambling symptoms, gambling-related cognitions, and impulsivity traits. Cluster analyses revealed that three clusters globally aligned with the pathways proposed by Blaszczynski & Nower (2002). Two other clusters emerged: (1) impulsive gamblers without cognitive-related cognitions; and (2) gamblers without impulsivity or gambling-related cognitions. Gamblers with both heightened impulsive traits and gambling-related cognitions had more severe problem gambling symptoms. We successfully identified, based on an a priori theoretical framework, different subtypes of gamblers that varied in terms of problem gambling symptoms and clinical status. The diversity of the cluster profiles supports the development of personalized prevention strategies and psychological interventions. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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