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Psychopathology and Personality Characteristics in Pathological Gamblers: Identifying Subgroups of Gamblers

Helga Myrseth, Ståle Pallesen, Helge Molde, Odd E. Havik, Guy Notelaers

Abstract


We examined psychopathology and personality characteristics among 62 pathological gamblers (49 men and 13 women; mean age 37.8 years), measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). The mean MMPI-2 profile of the present sample of gamblers was characterized by elevated scores on depression and psychasthenia (anxiety/tension). Latent class analysis revealed 3 separate latent clusters: one with MMPI-2 profiles within the normal range, one with a moderately elevated profile, and one with elevations on most of the clinical scales. We conclude that pathological gamblers are a heterogeneous group with different degrees of pathology and personality configurations; thus, one cannot talk about a general "gambler personality" as such. Interventions for pathological gamblers should therefore take into consideration the pattern and the level of psychopathology of the patients.


Keywords


Pathological gambling; personality characteristics; psychopathology; subgroups; latent class analyses; MMPI-2

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2016.32.5

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