A group of researchers from the CoEHAR of the University of Catania, led by prof. Pasquale Caponnetto, conducted a systematic review that analyzed the main and most recent forms of gambling and related psychopathological disorders, also proposing clinical-psychological recommendations useful in reducing the damage related to this widespread form of addiction.

Catania, 8 May 2023 – The research group led by prof. Pasquale Caponnetto, professor of Clinical Psychology at the Department of Education Sciences of the University of Catania, has conducted a review of all the studies conducted on gambling addiction in the last two years, just published in “Psychistry international“.

Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2673-5318/4/2/14 

The gambling sector in Italy is constantly growing, from 2021 to 2023, due to the Covid pandemic, there was a significant increase in the percentage of active players, especially online. The new forms of gaming are today more linked to new tools: games are played online, on mobile phones, on social media or using electronic machines. Gambling addiction affects all demographic groups and all geographical areas, with a particular propensity for adults aged 35-44, who are most affected by what can be considered a real disease.

Online gaming can lead to addiction, financial hardship and mental health problems, and has also been associated with high levels of depression and anxiety, poor mental health, and smoking and alcohol abuse. The results state that pathological gambling, in all its variants, turns out to be a problem from a health, socio-economic and relational point of view, not only for the player but also for the family and loved ones who suffer the consequences. In many cases, it has been noted that the more you play, the more you increase your risk level, with a greater likelihood of causing co-occurring mental disorders.

Moreover, particularly relevant is the fact that shows that 65% of young people affected by this type of addiction have developed depression and psychological problems.

 “Various biological, psychological and social risk factors have been associated with gambling addiction – explained prof. Caponnetto – early diagnosis and intervention are essential to address the related problems and reduce the consequences associated with this disorder. Specifically – adds the professor – the use of validated screening tools and personalized treatment plans should be envisaged to help people overcome the problem and work on their physical and mental well-being “.

The review highlights the need for continued research into the impact of new forms of gambling and the development of prevention and treatment strategies.


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