Exploring a multidimensional approach to impulsivity in predicting college student gambling

Abstract

Impulsivity has been implicated as a contributing factor in the development of gambling problems among college students, but attempts to confirm this relation have been inconsistent. One explanation for these incongruent findings is that impulsivity may be multidimensional and that distinct dimensions differentially predict separate behaviors. Using a large, diverse sample of college students, a factor analysis of self-report measures related to impulsivity revealed a three-factor structure of Behavioral Activation, Preference for Stimulation, and Inhibition Control that was similar to the structure found by Meda et al. (Behav Pharmacol 20(5–6):390–399, 2009) in a different adult sample. Low risk gamblers and symptomatic gamblers scored significantly lower on Behavioral Activation and Inhibition Control than non-gamblers. Conversely, low risk gamblers and symptomatic gamblers scored significantly higher on Preference for Stimulation. Prevalence of gambling and gambling activity preference for this sample was also assessed.

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