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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00625

Differences in emotion regulation considering sex, age and gambling preferences in a sample of gambling disorder patients

 Marta Sancho1, 2*,  Marta De Gracia De Gregorio2,  Roser Granero3, 4, Sara González-Simarro1,  Isabel Sánchez2, 3,  Fernando Fernandez-Aranda2, 3, 5,  Joan Trujols1, 3, 6,  Núria Mallorquí-Bagué1, 2, 3,  Gemma Mestre-Bach2, 3,  Amparo Del Pino-Gutierrez2, 3, 7, Teresa Mena-Moreno2, Cristina Vintró-Alcaraz2,  Trevor Steward2, 3,  Neus Aymamí2, Mónica Gómez-Peña2,  Jose M. Menchon2, 3, 5, 6 and  Susana Jiménez-Murcia2, 3, 5*
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul, Spain
  • 2Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge, Spain
  • 3Carlos III Health Institute, Spain
  • 4Department of Psychobiology and Methodology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 6Carlos III Health Institute, Spain
  • 7Department of Nursing of Public Health, Mental and Maternal and Child Health, School of Nursing, University of Barcelona, Spain

Introduction: Impairments in emotion regulation are understood to be a transdiagnostic risk factor of suffering from compulsive and addictive behaviors. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of emotion regulation deficits in gambling disorder and to analyze these differences taking gender, age and gambling activity preferences into account. Methods: The sample included n=484 patients seeking treatment for gambling disorder at a specialized outpatient service. Main outcomes were socio-demographic variables, emotion regulation and gambling severity. Results: Differences between sexes were found in non-acceptance of emotions. Older patients obtained higher levels in non-acceptance of emotions, lack of emotion regulation strategies, emotional clarity and global emotion regulation scores. No differences were found in emotion scores considering gambling preferences (non-strategic versus strategic). Path-analysis showed that emotion regulation scores and age obtained a direct effect on gambling disorder severity, while emotion regulation and gambling preference were not mediational variables in the relationships between gender and age with gambling severity. Conclusions: Emotion regulation impairments differ in patients seeking treatment for gambling problems. Early prevention and intervention programs should incorporate the different dimensions of this process, taking into account clinical phenotypes.

Keywords: behavioral addiction, Emotion Regulation, Gambling disorder (GD), risk factor, severity, age, gender

Received: 17 Apr 2019; Accepted: 05 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Sancho, De Gracia De Gregorio, Granero, González-Simarro, Sánchez, Fernandez-Aranda, Trujols, Mallorquí-Bagué, Mestre-Bach, Del Pino-Gutierrez, Mena-Moreno, Vintró-Alcaraz, Steward, Aymamí, Gómez-Peña, Menchon and Jiménez-Murcia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Marta Sancho, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, msanchona@santpau.cat
Dr. Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge, Barcelona, Spain, sjimenez@bellvitgehospital.cat