Aggressive behaviour in adult slot machine gamblers: a qualitative observational study

Adrian Parke, Mark Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gambling is acknowledged to have many negative effects on the individual. However, from a psychological perspective, aggression as an outcome of gambling has been overlooked. This paper investigates the dynamics of the relationship between aggression and slot machine gambling. A non-participation observation study observed a small group of aggressive individuals (n = 8; identified in a previous study) over a period of eight weeks. Four categories of aggressive behaviour were confirmed from previous research (verbal aggression towards the gambling arcade staff; verbal aggression towards the slot machines; verbal aggression towards other slot machine players; and physical aggression towards the slot machines). From the in-depth observations, possible reasons motivating these types of aggressive behaviour are discussed. It is suggested that the frustration, guilt and embarrassment of losing are the prime causes of such aggression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2005


  • Slot-machine gambling
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Problem gambling
  • Qualitative study
  • Non-participant observation


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