Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Meredith K. Ginley

Committee Members

Kelly Moore, Matthew Palmatier


The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) presents the criteria for Gambling Disorder (GD) as a unidimensional construct where each additional symptom corresponds to increased severity. Many individuals experience addiction symptoms in specific symptom clusters, with membership to one profile of symptoms or other better-representing disorder severity than raw symptom counts. This study explored whether similarly informative symptom clusters exist among adults seeking treatment for gambling harms. The sample included 444 adults (Mage= 44.95) who completed an assessment of DSM criteria for GD at intake. Through a latent class analysis of GD criteria, three distinct classes were identified: a “Hurt but Hiding” class, a “High Distress but Hopeful” class, and a highest-risk class of gamblers. Statistically significant differences were found in the clinical covariates of gambling behavior, cognitive distortions, and gambling-related self-efficacy and the demographic variables of ethnicity, having children under the age of 18, and employment status. Results indicate heterogeneity of individuals seeking treatment from gambling harms. Future areas of research are discussed.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 15, 2025