Cognitive distortions as a problem gambling risk factor in internet gambling

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of cognitive distortions in Internet gambling. The primary objectives were to determine whether cognitive distortions predict Internet gambling and investigate whether distorted gambling-related cognitions are associated with problem gambling severity among online gamblers. Three hundred and seventy four undergraduate participants (143 online gamblers, 172 males) completed an online questionnaire looking at demographics, play-related variables (duration, frequency and expenditures of play) and cognitive distortions. Variables were entered into a logistic regression model to predict online gambling. Three variables made independent contributions to predicting Internet gambling: male gender, higher frequency of play, and cognitive distortions. A hierarchical linear regression analysis with Internet gamblers revealed that cognitive distortions accounted for a proportion of the variance in problem gambling severity beyond variance accounted for by demographic variables and level of gambling involvement. Results suggest that cognitive distortions are a risk factor in online gambling.

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