Investigating facets of personality in adult pathological gamblers with ADHD

Abstract

The present study explored facets of personality in a sample of pathological gamblers with ADHD (n = 52) and without ADHD (n = 43). Participants were assessed for psychopathology and gambling disorders using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the National Opinion Research Center DSM Screen for Gambling Problems, and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale. Facets of personality were assessed using the NEO Personality Inventory–Revised. Group differences emerged across several facets of personality when analyzed using multivariate statistics. Although both groups experienced difficulties in several areas compared with norming data (e.g., greater depression, higher impulsivity, lower self-esteem and lower self-discipline), these facets of personality were more pronounced in pathological gamblers with ADHD. Most notable among these differences are tendencies for gamblers with ADHD to experience greater levels of emotional instability, interpersonal sensitivity and stress proneness. Pathological gamblers with ADHD also appear to experience lower self-esteem, greater difficulty being assertive and lower levels of self-discipline. Surprisingly, both groups were comparable on facets of impulsivity. These findings suggest that pathological gamblers diagnosed with adult ADHD may experience additional challenges compared with pathological gamblers without ADHD.

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