Mapping and Conceptualizing Recovery Capital of Recovered Gamblers

Belle Gavriel-Fried, Niva Lev-el

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recovery capital (RC) is an emerging conceptual framework in the addiction field that pinpoints the internal and external (i.e., human, community, cultural, social, financial) resources individuals can draw on throughout the recovery process. The concept of RC was developed and applied primarily to individuals who have recovered from substance addiction. The aim of this study was to extend the RC conceptual framework to gambling disorder (GD)—which is classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) as a behavioral addiction—and to identify and conceptualize RC resources implemented by individuals who have recovered from GD. Ninety-one individuals who reported a lifetime history of DSM–5 GD but who had not exceeded the DSM–5 GD threshold criteria in the previous year, were interviewed about the factors that helped them throughout their recovery. Directed content analyses identified 12 main RC resources that were classified under 4 RC domains: human capital (subjective well-being, self-efficacy, self-control skills, proactive coping skills, socioemotional skills, reconstruction skills), community capital (prorecovery environment, professional therapeutic milieu), social capital (recovering gamblers’ peer group, friends without a GD, family), and financial capital (prorecovery financial state). These findings are the first step toward formulating a comprehensive conceptual model of RC applicable to GD. This study extends the RC and the gambling literature by presenting a holistic view of recovery from GD in many facets of life, and underscores the importance of observing strengths and resources in treating people with GD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-36
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Gambling disorder
  • Recovery
  • Recovery capital

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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