This study examined whether a positive association between personal relative deprivation and disordered gambling severity is mediated by the motivation to gamble for financial gain. We hypothesized that this would occur specifically among people who perceived a low personal capacity for upward economic mobility via conventional means of advancement. A sample of community gamblers (N = 196) completed measures of personal relative deprivation, perceptions about upward economic mobility, gambling motivations (financial, coping, enhancement and social) and disordered gambling severity. The predicted moderated mediation model was observed – among people who perceived a low capacity for upward economic mobility, relative deprivation predicted disordered gambling severity via the motivation to gamble for financial gain. This indirect effect did not hold among people who perceived a high capacity for upward mobility. These findings suggest the importance of addressing beliefs about upward economic mobility in gambling prevention and intervention strategies. Among gamblers who feel relatively deprived, it may be advantageous to highlight feasible avenues for upward economic mobility that do not involve gambling.

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International Gambling Studies
Department of Psychology

Tabri, N, Dupuis, D.R. (Darcy R.), Kim, H.S. (Hyoun S.), & Wohl, M. (2015). Economic mobility moderates the effect of relative deprivation on financial gambling motives and disordered gambling. International Gambling Studies, 15(2), 309–323. doi:10.1080/14459795.2015.1046468