Modeling intrinsic spirituality in gambling disorder

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Spirituality is related to an individual’s relationship with a Transcendent Being or Ultimate Reality, which may contribute to salutary human experience and serve as a motive for attitudes and behaviors. In contrast to studies in the field of substance addictions showing that spirituality may protect against substance-use problems and disorders and is a resource that may promote recovery, few studies have investigated the role of spirituality in gambling disorder, particularly ones using validated scales. Objectives: To probe the psychometric characteristics of the Intrinsic Spirituality Scale in individuals with gambling disorder and explore potential links between spirituality and a diagnosis of gambling disorder and its severity, and levels of psychopathology as manifested in depression and anxiety. Method: One-hundred-and-forty individuals over the age of 18 years with lifetime gambling disorder from five treatment centers in Israel were assessed on the Intrinsic Spirituality Scale, diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire 9 for depression. Results: The Intrinsic Spirituality Scale showed good psychometric properties, differentiated recovered and non-recovered individuals, and was negatively associated with severity of gambling disorder. No significant associations were found with depression and anxiety. Conclusion: The findings indicate that intrinsic spirituality is an important construct in Israeli individuals recovering from gambling disorder and highlight the importance of intrinsic spirituality in recovery from gambling disorder. Additional research is needed to understand the underlying processes and the extent to which the findings may extend to other groups of individuals with gambling disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 May 2020


  • Intrinsic spirituality scale
  • Israel
  • gambling disorder
  • recovery


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