How do impulsivity traits influence problem gambling through gambling motives? The role of perceived gambling risk/benefits

Abstract

Although substantial research suggests that motivations have been found to mediate the relationships between impulsivity traits and various forms of substance use, no studies have examined how gambling motives may mediate the relationships between impulsivity traits and problem gambling. The primary purpose of this study was to test an integrative model linking impulsivity traits and gambling problems, evaluating the mediating effects of gambling motives. Participants were 594 students (73% male; age, M  19.92 years; SD  2.91) enrolled in public high schools or universities. Young people who tend to act rashly in response to extremely positive moods showed higher enhancement and coping motives, which in turn were positively related to gambling problems. Individuals with higher levels of sensation seeking were more likely to have higher levels of enhancement motives, which in turn were also positively related to gambling problems. The model was examined in several groups, separately for the level of perceived gambling risk/benefits (lower perceived gambling risk, higher perceived gambling risk, lower perceived gambling benefits, and higher perceived gambling benefits). There were significant differences between these groups for this division. These findings suggest that prevention and/or treatment strategies might need to consider the model’s variables, including impulsivity traits and gambling motives, in accordance with individual levels of perceived gambling risk/benefits.

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