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What are the Early Warning Signs of Problem Gambling? (Preliminary Research)

Knowing the early warning signs of problem gambling provide an opportunity for early intervention before an individual experiences severe harm due to gambling. Gambling problems can become life damaging, cause strain on personal relationships, and exhaust household finances. Furthermore, individuals with gambling problems are more likely to attempt or commit suicide when compared to he general population (Canadian Safety Council, 2006, retrieved from ). This study identified the symptoms of problem gambling which were reported within a sample of recreational (i.e., low risk), moderate risk, and problem gamblers. We found that recreational gamblers reported chasing losses, betting more than they could afford to lose, and feeling guilty about their gambling most frequently at sub-threshold levels of problem gambling. Figure 2 demonstrates the early and late symptoms of problem gambling. Other researchers have found similar patterns of symptoms in the development of problem gambling (Strong & Kahler, 2007; Toce-Gerstein, Gerstein, & Volberg, 2003). These studies used the DSM-IV set of symptoms, while our team used the CPGI set of symptoms.



Currie, S.R., & Miller, N.V. (2007, November). What are the early warning signs of persons at risk for problem gambling? Poster presented at Alberta Mental Health Board's Mental Health Research Showcase, Banff, AB.


Strong, D., & Kahler, C. (2007). Evaluation of the continuum of gambling problems using the DSM-IV. Addiction, 102, 713-721.

Toce-Gerstein, M., Gerstein, D., & Volberg, R. (2003). A hierarchy of gambling disorders in the community. Addiction, 98, 1661-1672.

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