Is endorsing gambling as an escape more a trait or a state?

Abstract

Research has shown a strong relationship between disordered gambling and the contingency of escape, but it has yet to determine whether endorsing gambling as an escape is more the result of trait or state factors. Two hundred twenty four university students completed a self-report gambling questionnaire designed to measure the contingencies maintaining their gambling behavior. They also completed measures of the five major personality traits, their decision-making competencies, and their gambling history/experience. These indices were then used as predictors of endorsing gambling as an escape in a three-tiered hierarchical linear regression analysis. The personality factors of Agreeableness and the ability to apply decision rules were significant predictors of endorsing gambling as an escape, but personality measures together accounted for only a relatively small amount of variance (i.e., R2 = .165). The indices of gambling experience were significant predictors of escape scores and also accounted for a substantial amount of variance (R2 = .399). These results indicate that gambling as an escape is more influenced by state than trait factors, which has implications for both practitioners and researchers.

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