Alexithymia in Young Adulthood: A Risk Factor for Pathological GamblingParker J.D.A. · Wood L.M. · Bond B.J. · Shaughnessy P.
aDepartment of Psychology, Trent University, and bCentre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough, Canada
Background: Pathological gambling is more prevalent among postsecondary students than among the general adult population. While the prevalence of pathological gambling in this group has risen over the past decade, factors underlying the development of problem gambling among university students remain largely unexplored. One early study found alexithymia to be associated with pathological gambling. The aim of the present study was to further examine the relationship between alexithymia and gambling among postsecondary students. Methods: The relationship between alexithymia and pathological gambling was examined in 562 postsecondary students who completed the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Results: Approximately 12% of the sample was classified as alexithymic according to the TAS-20. These individuals were found to have significantly more gambling problems, as measured by the SOGS, than nonalexithymic individuals. Approximately 9% of the sample was classified as pathological gamblers according to the SOGS. These individuals were found to have significantly higher levels of alexithymia, as measured by the TAS-20, than nonproblem gamblers. Conclusions: Alexithymia is associated with pathological gambling and may be a risk factor among postsecondary students for developing severe gambling problems.
James D.A. Parker
Department of Psychology, Trent University
Peterborough, Ont., K9J 7B8 (Canada)
Tel. +1 705 748 1011, ext. 1283, Fax +1 705 748 1580
Number of Print Pages : 5
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 28
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Vol. 74, No. 1, Year 2005 (Cover Date: Released December 2004)
Journal Editor: G.A. Fava, Bologna
ISSN: 0033–3190 (print), 1423–0348 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/pps