Coping strategies and dysfunctional symptomatoly in pathological gamblers.
Coping strategies have been found to be related with pathological gambling, but few studies have analyzed its characteristics in samples of adult treatment-seeking gamblers. The study sample included 167 male pathological gamblers (mean age = 39.29 years) and 107 non-gamblers (mean age = 33.43 years). Measures of gambling, coping, and anxious and depressive symptomatology were used. Results showed that pathological gamblers’ scored higher in all the maladaptive coping strategies, and in some of the adaptive coping strategies . Coping also correlated with pathological gambling, and anxious and depressive symptomatology. Coping was also found to predict pathological gambling and anxious and depressive symptomatology. It was found that coping mediated the relationship between pathological gambling and anxious symptomatology when controlling for the effect of age. More concretely, social withdrawal and disengagement were found to mediate this relationship. These results provide practical information for use in clinical settings with people diagnosed with pathological gambling.