Personality characteristics and risk-taking tendencies among adolescent gamblers


Eight hundred and seventeen high school students in the Montreal region completed the DSM-IV-J diagnostic gambling measure, High School Personality Questionnaire (HSPQ), Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS), along with a gambling questionnaire ascertaining gambling participation and gambling-related behaviours. Eight of fourteen personality factors assessed by the HSPQ, as well as three of the four subscales of the SSS differed by gambling severity. A discriminant analysis found that high levels of Disinhibition, Boredom Susceptibility, Cheerfulness and Excitability, as well as low levels of Conformity, and Self-Discipline are strongly associated with the function that best predicts problem gambling severity level. The findings suggest that there exist qualitative differences in personality and risk-taking styles for adolescents based upon the severity of their gambling behaviour, lending support to the premise that certain types of individuals are more susceptible than others to developing a gambling problem.

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