Gender differences in temporal relationships between gambling urge and cognitions in treatment-seeking adults

Phoebe Dunsmuir, David Smith, Alicia Fairweather-Schmidt, Benjamin Riley, Malcolm Battersby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Many gambling-specific CBT programs seek to target either gambling-related urge or cognitions or both. However, little is known of the influence of one symptom type on another across time and whether these differ for men and women help-seeking problem gamblers. The aim of this study was threefold: to determine presence of measurement invariance for urge and cognition measures over time; to investigate the effect of baseline urge on end-of-treatment gambling-related cognitions – and the reciprocal relationship; and, identify whether these pathways differ across gender. Self-reported gambling urge (GUS), and gambling-related cognitions (GRCS) data from treatment-seeking problem gamblers prior to and post treatment (N = 223; 62% men) were analyzed with cross-lagged panel models, moderated by gender. Conceptualization of urge and cognitions were found to be temporally stable. There was no significant association between baseline GUS scores and post-treatment GRCS scores, nor the reverse relationship. Putatively, this infers that coexisting urge and gambling-related cognition components of problem gambling operate independently over time. Analyses revealed gambling urge had a significantly stronger tracking correlation across time for men than women when adjusting for cognition paths. This investigation provides early evidence for tailoring CBT in response to sub-population gambling-related characteristics, demonstrated across men and women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)282-289
    Number of pages8
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


    • Cognitions
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • Gambling disorder
    • Gender
    • Moderating effects
    • Path analysis
    • Urge


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