Conference proceedings article

Asocial rather than impulsive - Characteristics of adolescent male problem gamblers : Presentation at the 45th Annual ICAA conference in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 8-13 December


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Subtitle: Presentation at the 45th Annual ICAA conference in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 8-13 December

Author list: Gerdner, Arne

Publication year: 2002


The study concerns prediction of gambling problems in a representative sample of 178 male adolescents (aged 16 and 18 years) in the less populated county Jämtland, Sweden. They completed the SOGS, the TCI and a number of questions concerning social background, emotional and life-style factors. About 27% of the boys gamble at least weekly. As many as 16% qualify as probable pathological gamblers according to the SOGS. Another 7% are at risk. None of the social background factors are related to severity of gambling problems. The only significant family factor is parental substance misuse. The optimal multivariate model predicts about thirty per cent of the variance in gambling problems. The strongest factor is frequency of alcohol drinking. Several factors indicate a personality with problems in relations to others. Another factor indicates a dreamy personality. Unexpectedly, impulsiveness is not related to gambling. In conclusion, problem gambling among male adolescents is related to life-style and personality, especially in relation to others, but not to usual social background factors. Gamblers are asocial rather than impulsive. The nature of this finding should be further explored, since an asocial personality may point at genetics as well as to early social influences, as may the finding on the relation between gambling and parental drinking.


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