Background: Having a self-concept that is focused on a single life domain has been implicated in various emotional and behavioral disorders, including depression, body image disorders, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Herein, we extended research on having a focused self-concept by testing the idea that a self-concept focused on financial success is a core feature of disordered gambling. We also hypothesized that the degree of financial focus varies as a function of disordered gambling subtypes described in the Pathways Model. Specifically, we expected that emotionally vulnerable and anti-social impulsive disordered gamblers would report greater financial focus relative to behaviorally conditioned disordered gamblers. Method and Results: In Study 1, a community sample of people with gambling problems (n = 215) completed measures that assessed disordered gambling subtype, financially focused self-concept, and disordered gambling severity. As hypothesized, financial focus was greater among the emotionally vulnerable and anti-social impulsive subtypes relative to the behaviorally conditioned subtype, regardless of disordered gambling severity. Study 2 (n = 479) was a preregistered replication and extension of Study 1. Again, financial focus was greater among emotionally vulnerable and anti-social impulsive subtypes (relative to the behaviorally conditioned subtype), regardless of disordered gambling severity. The pattern of means for financial focus by disordered gambling subtype was distinct from that of gambling-related cognitive distortions. Moreover, as predicted, financial focus was greater among disordered gamblers relative to non-disordered gamblers. Conclusion: The findings provide a novel perspective on the psychopathology underlying disordered gambling, and suggest that a financial focused self-concept may hold explanatory power for the development of other behavioral addictions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Addictive behaviors, disordered gambling, psychopathology, self-concept
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2020.1714039
Journal Addiction Research and Theory
Citation
Tabri, N, Salmon, M.M. (Melissa M.), & Wohl, M. (2020). Financially focused self-concept in disordered gambling: comparisons between non-disordered and disordered gambling subtypes. Addiction Research and Theory. doi:10.1080/16066359.2020.1714039