A longitudinal empirical investigation of the pathways model of problem gambling
Longitudinal investigation of the pathways model
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournal of gambling issues ; vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 1153-1167.
Background and Aims: The Pathways Model of Problem Gambling suggests the existence of three developmental pathways to problem gambling, each differentiated by a set of predisposing biopsychosocial characteristics: Behaviorally Conditioned (BC), Emotionally Vulnerable (EV), and Biologically Vulnerable (BV) gamblers. This study examined the empirical validity of the Pathways Model among adolescents followed up to early adulthood. Design: A prospectivelongitudinal design was used, thus overcoming limitations of past studies that used concurrent or retrospective designs. Setting: Two samples were used: a) a population sample of French-speaking adolescents (N = 1,033) living in low socio-economic status (SES) neighborhoods from the Greater Region of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), and b) a population sample of adolescents (N = 3,017), representative of French-speaking students in Quebec. Participants: Only participants with at-risk or problem gambling by mid-adolescence or early adulthood were included in the main analysis (n = 180). Analyses: Latent Profile Analyses were conducted to identify the optimal number of profiles, in accordance with participants’ scores on a set of variables prescribed by the Pathways Model and measured during early adolescence: depression, anxiety, impulsivity, hyperactivity, antisocial/aggressive behavior, and drug problems. Findings: A four-profile model fit the data best. Three profiles differed from each other in ways consistent with the Pathways Model (i.e., BC, EV, and BV gamblers). A fourth profile emerged, resembling a combination of EV and BV gamblers. Conclusions: Four profiles of at-risk and problem gamblers were identified. Three of these profiles closely resemble those suggested by the Pathways Model.