The broad, long-term objective of this program of research is to reduce the prevalence of, and minimize the negative consequences associated with, co-occurring alcohol use and disordered gambling behavior by improving our understanding of the relation between alcohol use and within-session gambling behavior. Despite the common co-occurrence of these behaviors, the extant empirical evidence documenting alcohol's influence on within-session gambling behavior is limited. Persistence and related betting behaviors can contribute to mounting financial losses which, in turn, can lead to initiation of future gambling sessions and greater harm to the individual. Thus, the primary aim of the proposed study is to elucidate the effects of alcohol on gambling persistence and betting behavior.
This aim will be met through the evaluation of alcohol main effects as well as potential moderators and mediators of alcohol effects. Prior to addressing the primary aim of the study, it is necessary to develop an externally valid video poker software program to serve as the criterion task. The program will be administered via tablet PCs with touch screen technology in a simulated bar lab. To accomplish the primary study aims two-hundred adults (100 men and 100 women) between the ages of 21-30 will be recruited for a 2-session placebo-controlled alcohol administration study targeting a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of 0.08 g% in the alcohol condition and 0.01 g% in the active placebo condition. During the first session, participants will complete a behavioral measure of impulsivity and beverage administration, and will have the opportunity to gamble on the video poker task. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three initial gambling outcome manipulations (i.e., win, breakeven, or lose) which will comprise the first 5 trials of the gambling task. Following the manipulation all participants will begin a progressive loss schedule. Measures of drinking and gambling history, behavioral inhibition/impulsivity, and gambling related cognitions will be administered via self-report and interview during the second session. Beverage condition, initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling related cognitions will each serve as predictors of gambling persistence and betting behavior. Further, initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling related cognitions will serve as potential moderators and/or mediators of alcohol effects on gambling behavior. ? ? ?
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