Personality, negative emotional states and self-determination of gambling involvement

Abstract

The present study examined the relations between personality traits, depression, anxiety, stress and self-determination variables associated with gambling involvement. Participants were 126 university students using self-report method. Gambling behaviour is conceptualized on a continuum ranging from non-gambling to problem and pathological gambling using SOGS-RA. At risk gamblers represented 17, 5 % of the sample while 7.1% were classified as pathological gamblers. No significant gender differences were found. Personality variables associated with gambling problems were low conscientiousness, high levels of neuroticism and sensation seeking. Negative emotional states like anxiety and stress (but not depression) were associated with more severe gambling involvement. Regression analysis revealed that ascribing personal value to gambling behavior (identified regulation) and gambling in hopes of becoming rich (external regulation) were significant motivational predictors of severity and frequency of gambling behavior. These findings support a linkage between personality traits, different forms of motivation, emotional states, and gambling behaviour. The results are interpreted with the aim of improving prevention initiatives for young people.

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