A comparison of craving and emotional states between pathological gamblers and alcoholics

Abstract

Fifty pathological gamblers and 42 alcohol dependent subjects were compared regarding craving, emotional states and social functioning. Subjects self-rated their cravings using the Weiss Craving Scale (WCS) and the Pennsylvania Craving Scale (PCS). Subjects answered a semi-structured interview, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale Extended Form (PANAS-X), and the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS-SR). Gamblers had higher scores on craving measures. Regression models showed that craving for gambling and alcohol have a significant correlation with emotional states. Craving for gambling was inversely correlated with positive affect and craving for alcohol was directly correlated with negative affect. Gambling craving was more dependent upon external factors and related to an unpleasant dearousing state, while alcohol craving was associated with an unpleasant arousing state. These findings point to the key role of emotional deregulation on gambling and alcohol cravings following early abstinence.

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