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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


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.


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

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