General and Gambling-Specific Types of Control: Extending Mental Health Theory and Concepts to Problem Gambling
Keywords:sense of control, illusion of control, gambling self-efficacy, Stress Process Model
Rationale: A key factor in our understanding of problem gambling is control: over gambling outcomes (illusion of control) and behaviours (gambling self-efficacy). Research in the gambling field rarely looks beyond these gambling-specific types of control to more general types when identifying predictors of gambling problems. This work begins to integrate control concepts from the mental health and problem gambling fields by examining the importance of a more general type of control from the Stress Process Model: sense of control over life events. Methods: Closed-ended questionnaire and open-ended interview responses from 30 frequent (weekly or more) gamblers were used to examine whether general and gambling-specific types of control are linked as predicted in a conceptual model of control. Results: For some people, beliefs about one type of control are extended to inform beliefs about another type of control. In many cases, understandings of outcomes in life inform beliefs about controlling gambling outcomes and behaviours. Conclusions: Different types of control work together, and general understandings can translate into gambling-specific beliefs. Future work is needed to confirm and specify these relationships and clarify their importance to understanding the development of gambling problems.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sasha Stark
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