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J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(4), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8040509

A Multivariate Evaluation of 25 Proximal and Distal Risk-Factors for Gambling-Related Harm

1
Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity, University Drive Bundaberg, Branyan, QLD 4670, Australia
2
Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
3
Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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Abstract

Individual differences in the risk of developing gambling-related harm play an important role in theoretical models and practical interventions. The present study attempted comprehensive measurement and evaluation of 25 known risk factors for gambling-related harm in order to determine which factors provided large and unique explanatory power. We surveyed 1650 regular gamblers from an online panel, screening in 1174 (466 male) who passed all checks of attention and response consistency. We evaluated each risk factor based on bivariate correlations with harms, then made separate multivariate evaluations of proximal (e.g., gambling motivations) and distal (e.g., religiosity) risk factors. Almost all bivariate correlations were significant, but most distal factors were not significant in multivariate models. Trait impulsivity was the most important risk factor by a large margin. Excessive consumption, less use of safe gambling practices, and more fallacies were key proximal risks of harm. Many well-known correlates of gambling harm (e.g., youth, lower educational attainment) do not show a direct role in the development of gambling harm when controlling for other factors. The results support theoretical models that emphasise early conditioning and biological vulnerability (manifested through impulsivity). Since maladaptive cognitive and behavioural schemas appear to be more important than motivations (e.g., escape, excitement, ego), interventions may benefit by targeting these proximal drivers of harm. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk factors; gambling-related harm; gambling problems; impulsivity; early experiences; safe gambling practices; fallacies risk factors; gambling-related harm; gambling problems; impulsivity; early experiences; safe gambling practices; fallacies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Browne, M.; Hing, N.; Rockloff, M.; Russell, A.M.T.; Greer, N.; Nicoll, F.; Smith, G. A Multivariate Evaluation of 25 Proximal and Distal Risk-Factors for Gambling-Related Harm. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 509.

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