Gender differences in temporal relationships between gambling urge and cognitions in treatment-seeking adults
Battersby, Malcolm Wayne
MetadataShow full item record
Many gambling-specific CBT programs seek to target either gambling-related urge or cognitions or both. However, little is known of the influence of one symptom type on another across time and whether these differ for men and women help-seeking problem gamblers. The aim of this study was threefold: to determine presence of measurement invariance for urge and cognition measures over time; to investigate the effect of baseline urge on end-of-treatment gambling-related cognitions – and the reciprocal relationship; and, identify whether these pathways differ across gender. Self-reported gambling urge (GUS), and gambling-related cognitions (GRCS) data from treatment-seeking problem gamblers prior to and post treatment (N = 223; 62% men) were analyzed with cross-lagged panel models, moderated by gender. Conceptualization of urge and cognitions were found to be temporally stable. There was no significant association between baseline GUS scores and post-treatment GRCS scores, nor the reverse relationship. Putatively, this infers that coexisting urge and gambling-related cognition components of problem gambling operate independently over time. Analyses revealed gambling urge had a significantly stronger tracking correlation across time for men than women when adjusting for cognition paths. This investigation provides early evidence for tailoring CBT in response to sub-population gambling-related characteristics, demonstrated across men and women.