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

Authors

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

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2016.32.5

Keywords:

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

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.

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Published

2016-05-01

Issue

Section

Original Article