The Inventory of Gambling Situations in problem and pathological gamblers seeking alcohol and drug abuse treatment

Abstract

Identifying situations in which individuals gamble may be important for developing or improving treatments, but few instruments exist for examining high-risk gambling situations. This study evaluated the factor structure of the Inventory of Gambling Situations {(IGS)}, an instrument that assesses situations that may lead to gambling episodes. Individuals seeking alcohol and drug abuse treatment who were identified as problem or pathological gamblers ( N = 283) completed the {IGS}, and principal component analysis revealed a 4-factor solution best fit the data; the factors represented items related to Negative Affect, Positive Affect, Gambling Cues, and Social Situations. Across the whole scale, Cronbach's alpha was 0.97, ranging from 0.83 to 0.96 for the four factors. {IGS} total scores correlated with other indices of gambling problems, including number of pathological gambling criteria endorsed and frequency and intensity of gambling. Race, education, and severity of psychiatric, drug, and alcohol problems were significantly predictive of some factor scores. Specifically, African Americans were more likely to gamble in response to Negative Affect situations than Caucasians, and education was inversely associated with wagering in response to Gambling Cues. Psychiatric symptoms were predictive of gambling in response to both Positive and Negative Affect situations and Gambling Cues. Severity of drug and alcohol problems were related to gambling in Social Situations. Results from this study indicate that the {IGS} has good psychometric properties and suggest areas in which intervention efforts may be tailored to prevent or treat gambling problems among individuals seeking substance abuse treatment.

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