The Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS): development, confirmatory factor validation and psychometric properties

Abstract

Aims: The aims of this study are to develop and validate a measure to screen for a range of gambling-related cognitions (GRC) in gamblers.

Design and participants: A total of 968 volunteers were recruited from a community-based population. They were divided randomly into two groups. Principal axis factoring with varimax rotation was performed on group one and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used on group two to confirm the best-fitted solution.

Measurements: The Gambling Related Cognition Scale (GRCS) was developed for this study and the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), the Motivation Towards Gambling Scale (MTGS) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) were used for validation.

Findings: Exploratory factor analysis performed using half the sample indicated five factors, which included interpretative control/bias (GRCS-IB), illusion of control (GRCS-IC), predictive control (GRCS-PC), gambling-related expectancies (GRCS-GE) and a perceived inability to stop gambling (GRCS-IS). These accounted for 70% of the total variance. Using the other half of the sample, CFA confirmed that the five-factor solution fitted the data most effectively. Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the factors ranged from 0.77 to 0.91, and 0.93 for the overall scale.

Conclusions: This paper demonstrated that the 23-item GRCS has good psychometric properties and thus is a useful instrument for identifying GRC among non-clinical gamblers. It provides the first step towards devising/adapting similar tools for problem gamblers as well as developing more specialized instruments to assess particular domains of GRC.

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