An evaluation of the pathways model of problem gambling using the Quinte longitudinal dataset

Abstract

The pathways model proposed by Blaszczynski and Nower (2002) suggests that
problematic gambling may result from three related but distinguishable etiological paths.

The present study sought to test the tenets of the model by using the Quinte Longitudinal Dataset (Williams et al., 2015). A latent class analysis was completed using 125 first-time problem gamblers and in line with the model, a three-class solution was found to be best. The three latent classes shared important similarities with the pathways model typologies. There was a group of otherwise normal gamblers resembling the Behaviourally Conditioned typology, a class of gamblers with elevated antisocialityand impulsivity resembling the Anti-social Impulsivist gambler, and a class that shared consistencies, although to a lesser
extent than the previous classes, with the Emotionally Vulnerable gambler.

Despite these consistencies with the model, anxiety and depression were not
found to be significant class predictors. The Behaviourally Conditioned gambler and the Emotionally Vulnerable gambler classes did not appear to be as well differentiated as would be expected given the model’ssuppositions. This appears to be the first study to assess if problem gamblers can be grouped based on the presence of pathways model typological traits predating aberrant gambling behaviour. The findings provide preliminary support that problem gamblers can be grouped based on the presence of pre-problem gambling traits. The study’s findings also provide further evidence for aspects of the Blaszczynski and Nower’s (2002) problem gambling sub-types. These sub-types may be ultimately used to
develop subtype specific intervention and prevention strategies.

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