Pathways to pathological gambling: Component analysis of variables related to pathological gambling


This study used principal components analysis to examine the structure of variables associated with pathological gambling. A large battery of questionnaires was administered to a sample of 141 gamblers who ranged from non-problem gamblers to severe pathological gamblers. We found a significant relationship between severity of pathological gambling and various measures of impulsivity, depression, anxiety, erroneous beliefs, and reports of early wins. Component analysis of these variables found four distinct components: emotional vulnerability, impulsivity, erroneous beliefs, and the experiences of wins. Component scores based on these components were regressed onto pathological gambling. Emotional vulnerability had the largest effect (beta = 0.54), followed by early wins (beta = 0.32), erroneous beliefs (beta = 0.31), and impulsivity (beta = 0.23). The overall model accounted for 53.4% of the variance of pathological gambling. The findings confirm the idea that there may be several different risk factors that explain the development of pathological gambling.

Problem with this document? Please report it to us.