Financially Focused Self-concept in Disordered Gambling


Purpose of Review

People can place preponderant importance on a single life domain (e.g., relationships, appearance, financial success). The result is that success (or failure) in that domain has significant influence on the self-concept and thus judgments of self-worth. A focused self-concept has also been shown to be a core feature of various psychiatric disorders, including depression, body image disorders, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Herein, we summarize mounting evidence indicating that a self-concept focused on financial success is important for understanding the etiology and maintenance of disordered gambling.

Recent Findings

The review indicates that a financially focused self-concept is moderately and positively associated with disordered gambling severity. Specifically, we outline research that has examined how and why financially focused self-concept proliferates and maintains disordered gambling. Based on this research, we put forth the idea that having a financially focused self-concept is an etiological factor that is common to the different gambling disorder subtypes outlined in the Pathways Model—arguably the leading biopsychosocial model of gambling addiction and gambling harm.


More research is needed that assesses the antecedents and consequences of possessing a financially focused self-concept. We call on researchers to assess sociocultural, psychological, and environmental factors that may cultivate a financially focused self-concept as well as factors that may help people expand their domains of self-worth. The recovery process from any psychiatric disorder that includes a financial focus as an etiological factor should be aided by an expansion of the life domains from which self-worth is garnered.

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Correspondence to Nassim Tabri.

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Tabri, N., Wohl, M.J.A. Financially Focused Self-concept in Disordered Gambling. Curr Addict Rep (2021).

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  • Disordered gambling
  • Etiology
  • Financial success
  • Pathways Model
  • Self-concept