Sharing problem gamblers’ experiences: a text analysis of gambling stories via online forum

Andrea Caputo


The present study explored some common thematic domains which characterised problem gambling experiences of adult Italian participants with the aim of understanding motivations and expectations of problem gamblers and thus promoting better psychological interventions. Emotional Text Analysis was performed on 24 problem gambling stories collected via online forum in order to detect the main themes (cluster analysis) and latent factors (correspondence analysis) emerging in gamblers’ narratives. Five themes emerged which respectively refer to guilt (16.15%), obsession (27.60%), disease (30.77%), risk taking (15.89%) and emotion regulation (4.17%). In addition, four synthetic dimensions were detected which consent to account the variability of problem gambling experience based on: struggle against compulsion (F1), ambivalent acceptance of gambling (F2), interpersonal detachment (F3) and illusion of control (F4). From the emotional experience shaping the problem gamblers’ narratives, this research study allows the identification of some factors which can contribute to quality research on problem gambling and which can provide some useful suggestion for treatment. 


Addiction; Gambling; Gamblers Anonymous; Text analysis

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