A shorter and multidimensional version of the gambling attitudes and beliefs survey (GABS-23)

Abstract

The Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Survey (GABS) is a questionnaire which explores gambling-related dysfunctional beliefs in an unidimensional way. The present research aims to investigate the dimensionality of the scale. 343 undergraduate student gamblers and 75 pathological gamblers seeking treatment completed the GABS and the south oaks gambling screen. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the original one-factor structure of the GABS did not fit the data effectively. We then proposed a shorter version of the GABS (GABS-23) with a new five-factor structure, which fitted with the data more efficiently. The comparisons between students (problem vs. non-problem gamblers) and pathological gamblers seeking treatment indicated that the GABS-23 can discriminate between problem and non-problem gamblers as efficiently as the original GABS. To ensure the validity and the stability of the new structure of the GABS-23, analyses were replicated in an independent sample that consisted of 628 gamblers (256 non problem gamblers, 169 problem gamblers who are not treatment-seeking and 203 problem gamblers seeking treatment). Analyses showed satisfactory results, and the multidimensional structure of the GABS-23 was then confirmed. The GABS-23 seems to be a valid and useful assessment tool for screening gambling-related beliefs, emotions and attitudes among problem and non-problem gamblers. Moreover, it presents the advantage of being shorter than the original GABS, and of screening irrational beliefs and attitudes about gambling in a multidimensional way. The five-factor model of the GABS-23 is discussed based on the theory of locus of control.

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