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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Gambling problems have been linked to suicidal ideation and enhanced risk of suicide attempts. However, we know very little about the factors associated with either thoughts or acts of self-harm amongst people who gamble. A web-based study of 4125 online gamblers (79% males; mean age 35.5 years), analysed using hierarchical multiple regression, revealed that self-reported non-gambling-related self-harm was negatively related to age and marital status, and positively related to problematic alcohol use. Self-reported acts of self-harm both related and unrelated to gambling were associated with drug misuse. Thoughts and acts of gambling-related self-harm were associated with problem gambling, gambling involvement and parental problem gambling. All types of self-harm were associated with mood disorder symptoms, unemployment and certain gambling motivations. When tailoring assessment and interventions for individuals at risk for gambling-related deliberate self-harm, it is important to recognize that contributory factors may include some that differ from those for deliberate self-harm in general, and that there is potential value in evaluating gambling involvement and motivations, and history of parental gambling.

Original publication




Journal article


International Gambling Studies

Publication Date





408 - 423