Towards a validation of the Three Pathways model of pathological gambling


With the aim of validating the three pathways hypothesis of pathological gambling (Blaszczynski and Nower in Addiction 97:487-499, 2002) 372 pathological gamblers meeting DSM IV (2000) criteria were assessed via a structured clinical interview as well as being subjected to personality tests and evaluation of their gambling practices. Our results show that it is possible to identify three subgroups corresponding to the three pathways: behaviourally conditioned problem gamblers, emotionally vulnerable problem gamblers and antisocial impulsivist problem gamblers. Our results particularly demonstrate that impulsivist gamblers preferentially choose semi-skilful gambling (horse racing and sports gambling) whereas emotionally vulnerable gamblers are significantly more attracted to games of chance (one-armed bandits, scratch cards, etc.) This led us to propose a functional presentation of the three pathways model which differs somewhat from the Blaszczynski and Nower presentation.

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