Estimated verbal IQ and the odds of problem gambling: a population-based study

Rai, D., Hall, W., Bebbington, P., Skapinakis, P., Hassiotis, A., Weich, S., Meltzer, H., Moran, P., Brugha, T., Strydom, A. and Farrell, M. (2013) Estimated verbal IQ and the odds of problem gambling: a population-based study. Psychological Medicine, 44 8: 1739-1749. doi:10.1017/S0033291713002195

Author Rai, D.
Hall, W.
Bebbington, P.
Skapinakis, P.
Hassiotis, A.
Weich, S.
Meltzer, H.
Moran, P.
Brugha, T.
Strydom, A.
Farrell, M.
Title Estimated verbal IQ and the odds of problem gambling: a population-based study
Journal name Psychological Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0033-2917
Publication date 2013-09-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0033291713002195
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 44
Issue 8
Start page 1739
End page 1749
Total pages 11
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The neurocognitive deficits and other correlates of problem gambling are also observable in individuals with lower cognitive abilities, suggesting that a low IQ may be a determinant of problem gambling. There has been very little research into this possibility. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics associated with problem gambling in a large population-based study in England, with a particular focus on IQ.

Method: The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 comprised detailed interviews with 7403 individuals living in private households in England. Problem gambling was ascertained using a questionnaire based on DSM-IV criteria. Verbal IQ was estimated using the National Adult Reading Test (NART). Confounders included socio-economic and demographic factors, common mental disorders, impulsivity, smoking, and hazardous drug and alcohol use.

Results: More than two-thirds of the population reported engaging in some form of gambling in the previous year, but problem gambling was rare [prevalence 0.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.5–1.0]. The odds of problem gambling doubled with each standard deviation drop in estimated verbal IQ [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% CI 1.3–3.4, p=0.003], after adjusting for other characteristics associated with problem gambling including age, sex, socio-economic factors, drug and alcohol dependence, smoking, impulsivity and common mental disorders. There was no strong relationship observed between IQ and non-problem gambling.

Conclusions: People with lower IQs may be at a higher risk of problem gambling. Further work is required to replicate and study the mechanisms behind these findings, and may aid the understanding of problem gambling and inform preventative measures and interventions.
Keyword Addication
Impulse control disorders
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 03 Mar 2014, 02:11:19 EST by Ms Dayna Smith on behalf of Centre for Youth Substance Abuse