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J Gambl Stud. 2008 Mar;24(1):63-78. Epub 2007 Sep 8.

Excitement-seeking gambling in a nationally representative sample of recreational gamblers.

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Department of Psychiatry/Division of Substance Abuse, Yale University, 34 Park Street, Room S-104, New Haven, CN 06519, USA.


Excitement-seeking and related constructs have been associated with heavier gambling and negative health measures in problem and/or pathological gamblers. Most adults gamble recreationally and an understanding of the relationship between excitement-seeking as a motivation for gambling amongst subsyndromal gamblers has significant public health implications. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine a national sample of past-year recreational gamblers (N = 1,476) to identify characteristics distinguishing gamblers acknowledging gambling for excitement ("Excitement-seeking Gamblers" or EGs) and gamblers denying gambling for excitement ("Non-excitement-seeking Gamblers" or NEGs). EGs were more likely than NEGs to report alcohol use and abuse/dependence, any substance abuse/dependence, incarceration, large gambling wins and losses, more frequent and varied gambling, and symptoms of pathological gambling (i.e., at-risk gambling). Together, these findings indicate that EGs are more likely than NEGs to demonstrate problems in multiple areas characterized by impaired impulse control.

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