Predicting disordered gambling with illusory control, gaming preferences, and internet gaming addiction among Chinese youth

Abstract

The application of cognitive therapy in treating gambling disorder pivots on the assumption that maladaptive gambling behavior is to a certain degree governed by flawed information processing. However, if gambling disorder is more predicted by factors other than distortions in thinking, then cognitive therapy might not be the most suitable approach to problem gambling. This study investigated the extent to which the illusion of control can predict disordered gambling among Chinese youth. Some key correlates of pathological gambling were considered, including sex, preferences for the type of games, substance use while playing online or offline gambling games, amount of monetary reward, and Internet gaming addiction. An inventory made up of five main sections - such as the Illusion of Control Beliefs scale - was administered to 700 Hong Kong Chinese students to assess their beliefs about gambling, online and offline gambling behaviors, and tendencies to disordered gambling and Internet gaming addiction. The results indicated that the perceived intention to obtain desired outcomes, false attribution of chance-determined outcomes to the self's effort and ability, and perceived loss of control over gambling behaviors can serve as effective predictors of disordered gambling in the Chinese youth population. This held true even with other important parameters being controlled. Accordingly, intervention tactics that zero in on dysfunctional cognitive processes can form a pertinent approach to working with Chinese pathological gamblers.

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