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Loneliness and life dissatisfaction in gamblers

James Porter, Julia Ungar, G. Ron Frisch, Reena Chopra


This exploratory study examines the manifestation of two experiential variables in undergraduate university students who gamble. The study had 829 participants (270 males and 559 females). They completed self-report questionnaires on gambling-related problems (the South Oaks Gambling Screen), loneliness (the Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults), and overall life satisfaction (the Satisfaction with Life Scale). Based on their scores on the South Oaks Gambling Screen, participants were divided into two groups: recreational gamblers and at-risk gamblers. Male participants were much more likely to be at-risk gamblers than female participants. Compared to female recreational gamblers, female at-risk gamblers were found to be less satisfied with their lives and lonelier, especially in the romantic and social realms. Male recreational and at-risk gamblers did not differ significantly on these factors. Results support the views that the internal experience of female at-risk gamblers differs from that of their male counterparts, and that loneliness is best considered as a multidimensional construct.


gambling; loneliness; dissatisfaction; women

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