Distorted cognitions, substance use and suicide ideation among gamblers: a moderated mediation approach

J. C. Chukwuorji, A. Nweke, S. K. Iorfa, C. J. Lloyd, J. E. Effiong, I. L. G. Ndukaihe

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    Psychoactive substance users and those having irrational beliefs tend to report more suicide ideation; however, there is paucity of research on substance use and distorted cognitions in relation to suicidality among gamblers. The possibility of a moderated mediation model has not been examined. This study examines substance use as a mechanism explaining the association between distorted cognition and suicide ideation, and it seeks to determine whether this process differed for men and women. Participants were 251 persons (mean age = 23.63 years, SD = 4.72 years, 82.1% men), drawn from sports betting centres in Southeast Nigeria. They completed the Psychoactive Substance Use Questionnaire and perceived inability to stop gambling scale of Gambling-Related Cognitions Inventory and Suicidal Ideation Attributes Scale. Moderated mediation analysis showed that substance use mediated the association between distorted cognitions and suicide ideation and this indirect effect was moderated by gender. Specifically, inability to stop gambling was linked to higher suicide ideation through substance use for men but not for women. Suicide prevention and intervention programmes should consider targeting substance use reduction in order to protect individuals from suicide ideation. Such potential interventions for alleviating drug use may be especially important for men.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1398-1409
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
    Issue number5
    Early online date24 Jan 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


    • cognition
    • gamblers
    • moderated mediation
    • substance use
    • suicide ideation

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