The mediating effect of depression between superstitious beliefs and problem gambling: a cross-cultural study of Chinese and Caucasians residing in the United States


  • Jungsun Kim
  • Mikael Ahlgren
  • Bo Bernhard



The purpose of this study was to address the mediational role of depression in the association between superstitions and problem gambling and to test whether this mediating process is significantly different between Chinese and Caucasian Americans. Eight items assessing superstitious beliefs, the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the 20-item South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) were completed by 115 Chinese gamblers and 187 Caucasian gamblers residing in the United States, and the responses between tests and between groups compared. Path analysis results showed that superstitious beliefs had a significant effect on both Chinese and Caucasian gamblers' SOGS scores (i.e., problem gambling symptoms). In both groups, depression played a significant mediating role between the superstitious beliefs variable and the problem gambling variable. Future clinical research might use the findings of this study to develop specific prevention and treatment approaches focusing on a gambler's cognitive bias and negative mood.






Original Article