New study finds the causes are similar, however
A new study conducted amongst Australian university students found no overlap between excessive Internet use and problem gambling…. but both addictive behaviours are associated with psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, social isolation and loneliness.
The findings have been published in Rapid Communication in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. in an article titled "Commonalities in the Psychological Factors Associated with Problem Gambling and Internet Dependence,"
Both Internet dependence and problem gambling are typically viewed as behavioural addictions, and as such might be expected to affect the same individuals. But as N.A. Dowling, PhD, from the University of Melbourne, and M. Brown from Monash University, both in Australia, conclude, these seem to be separate disorders that share common underlying psychological profiles…and this carries implications for the way in which they are managed.
The authors report that similar vulnerabilities, attributable to feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, and social isolation, appear to contribute to excesses in Internet use and gambling behaviour.
Effective treatments would likely integrate multiple types of interventions that target the specific problem behavior and the general tendency to addiction.