Aim of the present study was to investigate affective and cognitive processes underlying self-narratives of patients with gambling disorder through a verbal language analysis. A semistructured interview was administered to 30 patients with gambling disorder (GD) (24 males and 6 females; mean age: 46.63±9.08) concerning the various thematic areas of their condition: definition of addiction, onset and maintenance of the addiction, relapses, desire, loss of control, control strategies, and treatment. Word usage in the self-narratives was categorized using James Pennebaker’s Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text-analysis software. Specifically, variables analyzed were emotion-related words, the use of pronoun-related words, and tense-related words. The findings showed a higher percentage of negative emotion-related words in the thematic areas of the definition of addiction, maintenance, and loss of control compared with other areas, which may suggest an emotional dysregulation; a higher percentage of first person singular-related words than other person-related words which decreases in the thematic areas of the desire, relapse, and loss of control, which may suggest dissociative phenomena; lastly, a high percentage of present tense-related words, which suggested a static and rigid representation of one’s dependency condition in GD patients and a difficulty to self-project into the future. Overall, the linguistic analysis revealed critical issues in affective and cognitive processes in specific phases of addiction in GD patients which could help guide treatment.
Altavilla, D., Acciai, A., Deriu, V., Chiera, A., Adornetti, I., Ferretti, F., et al. (2020). Linguistic analysis of self-narratives of patients with gambling disorder. ADDICTIVE DISORDERS & THEIR TREATMENT [10.1097/ADT.0000000000000229].