Gambling on the stock market: An unexplored issue

Abstract

AB Objective: Stock market investment (SMI) is one of the most socially acceptable types of gambling, which, however, can turn into a gambling problem. Because it is barely examined, we compared a series of clinical, psychopathologic, and personality variables in SMI gambling patients (both as primary and secondary problem) with a group of traditional pathologic gamblers (PGs). Method: A total sample of 1470 PGs (1376 patients without SMIs [PG-SMI], 76 patients with SMI as a secondary gambling problem [PG+SMI], and 18 patients with SMI as a primary gambling problem [SMI+PG]) participated in this study. All participants were diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria. The following instruments were used: the South Oaks Gambling Screen, the Symptom Check List-90 Items-Revised, the Temperament and Character Inventory- Revised, and other clinical and psychopathologic indices. Results: The 3 patient groups' profiles were statistically similar in psychometrical measures. The risk of having SMI increased for patients with higher education, and the presence of SMI as a primary problem in PGs increased with university study level and higher scores on the personality trait of cooperativeness. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate comparability of SMI gamblers with PGs in their general clinical profile and in psychopathology and personality.

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