Gambling, Drinking and Quality of Life: Evidence from Macao and Australia
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The investigation of the interface between psychological constructs, compulsive consumption of alcohol and pathological gambling is an important avenue for development of future initiatives in social marketing or prevention programs. This cross-cultural study attempts to bridge the gap in literature by providing an evaluation of the predictive ability of psychological variables such as gambling urge, gambling-related erroneous cognitions and comorbid alcohol consumption on pathological gambling behaviour and its impact on overall quality of life indicators. Participants consist of 445 Macao and Australian young adults (Mean age = 23 years). Results indicate that probable pathological gamblers as compared with non-gamblers reported significantly lower quality of life in all domains—physical health, psychological well-being, social relationships and environment. Adults who drank more alcohol and have stronger erroneous cognitions evidenced higher pathological gambling behavior. Our research model fits both cohorts and interestingly, erroneous gambling-related cognitions serve as a full mediator for the predictive relationship between gambling urge and pathological gambling in the Macao sample, but serve as a partial mediator in the Australian sample. Targeting erroneous cognitions in future social marketing or preventive campaigns should demonstrate to be an important strategy in reducing the effects of urge to gamble among at-risk individuals. Further implications for the industry, marketing and governmental strategies are discussed.
KeywordsGambling Drinking Compulsive consumption Cognition Quality of life Macao Australia Asian culture
The authors thank Professor Tian Po Oei and Dr. Namrata Raylu for initial discussions regarding the development of constructs measured.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
This study was funded by the MUST Faculty Research Grants (0408) and The University of Queensland research funding. Dr. Jasmine Loo is currently a Visiting Research Scientist at Yale University and is a member of the National Committee on Problem Gambling, Malaysia. The remaining Authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures were in accordance to ethical guidelines of confidentiality and informed consent.
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