Associations Between Recovery Capital, Spirituality, and DSM-5 Symptom Improvement in Gambling Disorder

Belle Gavriel-Fried, Tania Moretta, Marc N. Potenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Understanding how factors promoting recovery from gambling disorder operate is important in gambling studies and treatment programs. The recovery experience may involve multiple positive resources and may be hindered by negative experiences or states. Most prior studies have focused on the latter, generating a gap in understanding the role for positive psychology measures in recovery from gambling disorder. This study investigated the associations between symptom improvement in gambling disorder and positive resources operationalized as recovery capital (internal and external resources that individuals may draw upon during the recovery process) and intrinsic spirituality. Negative experiences and states, including stressful life events, depression, and anxiety, were also considered. One hundred and 40 individuals (101 men) with a lifetime gambling disorder treated in 5 treatment centers in Israel were assessed on DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder (lifetime and past-year), Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital Scale adapted to gambling disorder, Intrinsic Spirituality Scale, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire 9 for depression, and Stressful Life Events Scale. Improvement in gambling disorder was calculated by subtracting the criteria count for the previous year from the lifetime count. Although anxiety, stressful life events, and depression were found to be negatively associated with gambling disorder symptom improvement, only recovery capital and spirituality re-mained significant when all variables were entered together in a multiple regression analysis. These findings highlight the positive role of recovery capital and spirituality in the recovery process and suggest treatment providers should integrate a positive psychology approach in gambling disorder treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Gambling disorder
  • Intrinsic spirituality
  • Recovery capital


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