Mindfulness Profiles Among Gamblers: Exploring Differences in Gambling Behaviors, Motivations, Cognitions, and Mental Health

Jackie F. Stanmyre, Devin J. Mills, Wen Li Anthony, Lia Nower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The present study investigated the five facets of mindfulness and nonattachment in individuals who gamble to identify latent profiles and explore descriptive differences in those profiles relative to etiological precursors to problem gambling. Methods: An online convenience sample of 843 adults (59.91% male; Mage = 39.40 years; SD = 12.52) who gamble completed measures of mindfulness; nonattachment; gambling motivations, cognitions, frequency, and problem severity; and mental well/ill-being. Results: Findings from a series of latent profile analyses supported a four-profile model, representing High, Moderate, and Low Mindfulness as well as a unique profile, Judgmentally Unaware, characterized by low levels of non-judging and acting with awareness. Individuals with the Judgmentally Unaware profile demonstrated more frequent gambling, stronger gambling motivations and gambling-related cognitions, more severe problem gambling, and poorer mental health. Conclusions: This study extends prior findings by clarifying nuances among specific profiles of mindfulness that could bear on levels of problem gambling severity. For groups with high mindfulness and low gambling problem severity, mindfulness interventions could positively inform harm-reduction strategies. However, for a novel “Judgmentally Unaware” group, who are both self-critical and inattentive to their gambling behaviors, more research is needed to identify traits that serve as risk or protective factors in the development and maintenance of problem gambling behavior. Across groups, mindfulness is a promising framework to guide investigations into prevention and intervention with individuals who experience gambling problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalMindfulness
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gambling
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Mindfulness

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