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J Gambl Stud. 2017 Dec;33(4):1187-1200. doi: 10.1007/s10899-017-9680-8.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Disordered Gambling: Assessing the Mediating Role of Emotion Dysregulation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada. jpoole@ucalgary.ca.
2
Depression Research Laboratory, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada. jpoole@ucalgary.ca.
3
Addictive Behaviours Laboratory, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.
4
Depression Research Laboratory, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.

Abstract

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as sexual and physical abuse, have been established as risk factors for the development of disordered gambling. The underlying mechanism by which ACEs influence disordered gambling, however, remains unknown. The aims of the present research were to comprehensively investigate ten types of childhood adversity and their relationships to disordered gambling in adulthood, and to test whether emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between ACEs and disordered gambling. A sample of community gamblers (N = 414) completed self-report measures of ACEs, emotion dysregulation, and gambling severity. Results revealed a significant association between all but one type (physical abuse) of ACEs and disordered gambling. Further, the results highlighted the cumulative impact of ACEs on gambling. Specifically, individuals who experienced three or more types of ACEs were more than three times as likely to report disordered gambling as compared to individuals with no history of childhood adversity. Importantly, as hypothesized, emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between ACEs and disordered gambling. Findings from this research describe the association between ACEs and gambling and indicate a causal link between childhood adversity and disordered gambling. Results suggest that treatment initiatives may do well to address both ACEs and emotion dysregulation in the treatment of problem gambling.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse childhood experiences; Childhood maltreatment; Disordered gambling; Emotion dysregulation; Trauma

PMID:
28258336
DOI:
10.1007/s10899-017-9680-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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