Risk-taking, delay discounting, and time perspective in adolescent gamblers: An experimental study

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that adult pathological gamblers (compared to controls) show risk-proneness, foreshortened time horizon, and preference for immediate rewards. No study has ever examined the interplay of these factors in adolescent gambling.

A total of 104 adolescents took part in the research. Two equal-number groups of adolescent non-problem and problem gamblers, defined using the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents, were administered the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), the Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC-14) scale, and the Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ). Adolescent problem gamblers were found to be more risk-prone, more oriented to the present, and to discount delay rewards more steeply than adolescent non-problem gamblers. Results of logistic regression analysis revealed that BART, MCQ, and CFC scores predicted gambling severity.

These novel finding provides the first evidence of an association among problematic gambling, high risk-taking proneness, steep delay discounting, and foreshortened time horizon among adolescents. It may be that excessive gambling induces shortsighted behaviors that, in turn, facilitate gambling involvement.

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