Examination of Young maladaptive schemes in a group of Gamblers Anonymous

Abstract

Background: Literature of gambling addiction has become widespread in last years. Many studies were written about the vulnerability factors helping the development of addiction, theoretical models, comorbid problems and therapy possibilities. Currently there is no integrated theoretical model that could explain sufficiently the development and maintenance of pathological gambling. The treatment issue is also unresolved. Cognitive psychology is a dynamically developing field of psychology and good results are achieved in gambling treatment with applying cognitive techniques. Jeffrey Young's schema-focused therapy is a recent theoretical and therapeutic direction within cognitive psychology which emphasizes the necessity of emotional changes beside rational ones in the interest of efficiency. Purpose: The purpose of our research is to examine and analyse active maladaptive schemas among gamblers who are members of Gamblers Anonymous self-help group. Sample and methods: 23 control persons and 23 gamblers associated with support group of Gamblers Anonymous took part in our research. The severity of gambling behaviour was measured by Gamblers Anonymous Twenty Questions. For exploring maladaptive schemas we used the shorter 114-item version of the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ-S3). Results and Conclusions: All the examined gamblers were considered as problem gamblers based on Gamblers Anonymous Twenty Questions. In the control group there where no active schemas while in the group of gamblers several schemas (Emotional deprivation, Self-sacrifice, Recognition seeking, Emotional inhibition, Unrelenting standards, Self-punitiveness, Insufficient self-control) showed activity. Active schemas show similarity in their matter with main establishments of researches about gamblers and support the role of impulsivity, narcissistic traits, self-medicalization and emotional deprivation in the development and maintenance of pathological gambling.

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