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Keywords:

  • DSM-IV;
  • epidemiology;
  • gambling;
  • gambling disorder;
  • problem or pathological gambling;
  • subtypes;
  • survey research

Abstract

Aims

To derive empirical subtypes of problem gamblers based on etiological and clinical characteristics described in the Pathways Model, using data from a nationally representative survey of US adults.

Design & measurement

Data were collected from structured diagnostic face-to-face interviews using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule DSM-IV version IV (AUDADIS-IV).

Setting

The study utilized data from US National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

Participants

All disordered gambling participants (n = 581) from a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of civilian non-institutionalized adults aged 18 years or older.

Findings

Latent class analyses indicated that the best-fitting model was a three-class solution. Those in the largest class (class 1: 50.76%, n = 295) reported the lowest overall levels of psychopathology including gambling problem severity and mood disorders. In contrast, respondents in class 2 (20.06%, n = 117) had a high probability of endorsing past-year substance use disorders, moderate probabilities of having parents with alcohol/drug problems and of having a personality disorder, and the highest probability for past-year mood disorders. Respondents in class 3 (29.18%, n = 169) had the highest probabilities of personality and prior-to-past year mood disorders, substance use disorders, separation/divorce, drinking-related physical fights and parents with alcohol/drug problems and/or a history of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Conclusions

Three subtypes of disordered gamblers can be identified, roughly corresponding to the subtypes of the Pathways Model, ranging from a subgroup with low levels of gambling severity and psychopathology to one with high levels of gambling problem severity and comorbid psychiatric disorders.