Gamblers take a chance on new addiction test

23rd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2005, GRANADA — A team of researchers from the University of Granada has developed a test for determining addiction to gambling, an illness that currently afflicts some 500,000 people in Spain.

23 August 2005

GRANADA — A team of researchers from the University of Granada has developed a test for determining addiction to gambling, an illness that currently afflicts some 500,000 people in Spain.

The researchers, led by social psychology professor Jose Maria Salinas, were assisted by the Andalusian Federation of Reformed Gamblers and used a test group of 64 subjects undergoing rehabilitation.

Individuals suffering from gambling addiction play games of chance "in a persistent and progressive fashion until they develop an emotional dependency on the game that negatively affects their personal, family and professional lives," Salinas said.

The professor said the best way to deal with the problem was to "detect it in time," and a "good diagnostic method" was needed.

Salinas's team has been working on a diagnostic method since 1996.

The researchers came up with a 50-item questionnaire that helps develop a psychological profile of those with a gambling addiction.

Some 80 percent of the 64 gamblers in the test group hid what they were doing from their families and kept their gambling a secret, behaviour that experts consider key indicators of "a gambling problem".

The diagnostic questionnaire, which is also available in a shorter online format, focuses on the effects of gambling on personal, family and work relationships, as well as on the motives for gambling and the feelings it produces.

Salinas said the questionnaire was the only one of its type that sought to show that intense gambling was an addiction "with the same characteristics as dependence on drugs, with the implication that the system of reward is the same pleasure felt by the player."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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