Côté, M., Tremblay, J., Jiménez-Murcia S., Fernàndez-Aranda F. et Brunelle, N. (2019). How Can Partners Influence the Gambling Habits of Their Gambler Spouse? Journal of Gambling Studies, 1-26.
An increasing number of clinical and empirical studies document the coping strategies used by partners of pathological gamblers (PGs). A postulate for this is that they may be useful for dealing with their partner’s problematic gambling behaviors. Despite a widespread endorsement of this postulate, no study has yet documented their effectiveness: does the use of these coping strategies impact the gambler’s behavior? To answer this question, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 participants (8 couples comprising one PG and his or her partner, one partner of a PG, and 2 PGs). Qualitative analysis of the interviews lead to a first main observation: via diverse coping strategies, partners of PGs can influence their spouse’s gambling behaviors. The impact of these strategies may occur as initially expected by partners, that is by a reduction of gambling behaviors. However, the use of certain strategies can also increase the PG’s gambling cravings, though this is not generally their partner’s intention.