Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
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  • ISSN: 0214-9915
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Risk Factors Associated with Gambling on Loot Boxes

Francisco J. Sanmartín, Judith Velasco, Mario Gálvez-Lara, Fátima Cuadrado and Juan A. Moriana

University of Córdoba (Spain), Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research of Córdoba (Spain), Reina Sofia University Hospital (Spain)

Background: Loot boxes (LBs) are virtual objects that players open without knowing the value of the item they will obtain. Because of their features, studies have explored their association with gambling, finding commonalities. However, risk factors have been overlooked. This study examined risk factors associated with gambling as applied to LBs (gambling in the past year, having family/friends who use LBs/gamble, trait impulsivity, and sensation-seeking). Method: 253 participants (82.2% men) with a mean age of 28 years (SD = 12.11)—in three groups: gamblers (n = 89), LB purchasers (n = 63), and free-LB openers (n = 101)—completed a self-report. Results: Having family/friends who used LBs was related to increased engagement in opening LBs at no cost. However, having gambled in the past year or having family/friends who used LBs or who gambled was not associated with increased purchasing. Gamblers, LB purchasers, and LB openers scored equally highly on impulsivity and sensation-seeking. Because some gamblers used LBs, and LB purchasers also opened free-LBs, further analyses were performed to control for the effects of overlapping groups. Loot boxers had higher scores in sensation-seeking than gamblers. Conclusions: The results can contribute to the development of prevention and intervention strategies for LB users.

Antecedentes: Las loot boxes (LBs) son objetos virtuales que se abren desconociendo el valor del artículo que contienen. Aunque se han relacionado con el juego de azar, sus factores de riesgo apenas han sido explorados. Este estudio examina los factores de riesgo del juego de azar en LBs (jugar a juegos de azar, tener familiares/amigos que usan LBs/juegan a juegos de azar, impulsividad-rasgo y búsqueda de sensaciones). Método: 253 participantes (M = 28, DT = 12.11, 82.2% hombres), distribuidos en tres grupos: jugadores de azar (n = 89), compradores de LBs (n = 63) y abridores de LBs gratuitas (n = 101), completaron un autoinforme. Resultados: Tener familiares/amigos que usaban LBs se relacionaba con la apertura gratuita, pero jugar a juegos de azar o tener familiares/amigos que usaban LBs/jugaron a juegos de azar no se relacionaba con la compra. Los tres grupos puntuaron igual en impulsividad y búsqueda de sensaciones. Tras controlar el solapamiento (algunos jugadores de azar usaban LBs, y los compradores de LBs abrían LBs gratuitas), los loot boxers puntuaron más alto en búsqueda de sensaciones que los jugadores de azar. Conclusiones: Conocer las comunalidades entre LBs y juegos de azar puede contribuir a su prevención e intervención.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2023:  SJR = 1.07;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)