Evaluating the South Oaks Gambling Screen With DSM-IV and DSM-5 Criteria
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Despite widespread use, the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) has been criticized for excessive false positives as an indicator of pathological gambling (PG), and for items that misalign with PG criteria. We examine the relationship between SOGS scores and PG symptoms and convergent validity with regard to personality, mood, and addictive behaviors in a sample of 353 gamblers. SOGS scores correlated r = .66 with both DSM-IV and DSM-5 symptoms, and they manifested similar correlations with external criteria (intraclass correlation of .95). However, 195 false positives and 1 false negative were observed when using the recommended cut point, yielding an 81% false alarm rate. For uses with DSM-IV criteria, a cut point of 10 would retain high sensitivity with greater specificity and fewer false positives. For DSM-5 criteria, we advocate a cut point of 8 for use as a clinical screen and a cut point of 12 for prevalence and pseudo-experimental studies.
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