Further evaluation of the construct, convergent and criterion validity of the Gambling Urge Scale with university-student gamblers

Abstract

Background: Research has documented the prevalence of problem gambling among university students, and craving is one factor that may provoke and maintain episodes of gambling. Objectives: We designed this study to assess elements of construct, convergent and criterion validity of the Gambling Urge Scale (GUS) when administered to regularly gambling university students. Methods: Students (n = 250) recruited from three universities during the spring semester, 2012, were randomly assigned to one of four conditions to test the impact of cue exposure to one of two types of stimuli (gambling versus non-gambling activity), and two types of presentation format (photographic versus imagery scripts), on current craving to gamble. Results: Self-reported craving increased significantly following exposure to gambling cues, but not following exposure to engaging non-gambling cues, regardless of the format by which cues were presented. Among those exposed to gambling cues, GUS craving scores were significantly correlated with all three subscales of another measure of craving to gamble, gambling-related problems, passionate attachment to gambling, distorted gambling beliefs and gambling refusal self-efficacy. Conclusions: These findings provide further support for the construct, convergent and criterion validity of the GUS as a measure of subjective craving in university student gamblers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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