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      Associations between the HEXACO model of personality and gambling involvement, motivations to gamble, and gambling severity in young adult gamblers

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          Background and aims

          Substantial research has examined the role of personality in disordered gambling. The predominant model in this work has been the five-factor model (FFM) of personality. In this study, we examined the personality correlates of gambling engagement and gambling severity using a six-dimensional framework known as the HEXACO model of personality, which incorporates FFM characteristics with the addition of honesty–humility. In addition, the potential mediating role of gambling motives in the personality and gambling severity relationship was explored.


          A sample of undergraduate gamblers ( n = 183) and non-gamblers ( n = 143) completed self-report measures of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) and the Gambling Motives Questionnaire-Financial, as well as self- and observer report forms of the HEXACO-100.


          Logistic regression results revealed that scores on honesty–humility were positively associated with non-gambling over gambling status. Furthermore, it was also found that honesty–humility, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were each uniquely associated with PGSI severity scores. The results of the mediational analyses suggest that each personality factor has different gambling motivational paths leading to PGSI gambling severity.

          Discussion and conclusions

          The findings of this study contribute to the literature on behavioral addictions by providing an increased understanding of individual personality factors associated with likelihood of gambling, overall gambling severity, and gambling motives. Ultimately, these findings suggest that the honesty–humility dimension may be a target for the prevention efforts against problematic gambling outcomes.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Empirical, theoretical, and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure.

          The authors argue that a new six-dimensional framework for personality structure--the HEXACO model--constitutes a viable alternative to the well-known Big Five or five-factor model. The new model is consistent with the cross-culturally replicated finding of a common six-dimensional structure containing the factors Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), eExtraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). Also, the HEXACO model predicts several personality phenomena that are not explained within the B5/FFM, including the relations of personality factors with theoretical biologists' constructs of reciprocal and kin altruism and the patterns of sex differences in personality traits. In addition, the HEXACO model accommodates several personality variables that are poorly assimilated within the B5/FFM.
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            Validity of the Problem Gambling Severity Index interpretive categories.

            The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a widely used nine item scale for measuring the severity of gambling problems in the general population. Of the four gambler types defined by the PGSI, non-problem, low-risk, moderate-risk and problem gamblers, only the latter category underwent any validity testing during the scale's development, despite the fact that over 95% of gamblers fall into one of the remaining three categories. Using Canadian population data on over 25,000 gamblers, we conducted a comprehensive validity and reliability analysis of the four PGSI gambler types. The temporal stability of PGSI subtype over a 14-month interval was modest but adequate (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.63). There was strong evidence for the validity of the non-problem and problem gambler categories however the low-risk and moderate-risk categories showed poor discriminant validity using the existing scoring rules. The validity of these categories was improved with a simple modification to the scoring system.
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              The personality of pathological gamblers: a meta-analysis.

              This review summarizes studies of pathological gambling and personality. Meta-analyses were conducted on 44 studies that reported personality traits of pathological gamblers (N = 2134) and nonpathological gambling control groups (N = 5321). Effect size estimates were calculated for 128 comparisons and organized according to the factors associated with two integrative accounts of personality. Four of the meta-analyses examined traits that have previously been found to load on the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, and Sensation Seeking aspects of impulsivity (Whiteside & Lynam 2001). Substantial effects were found for traits associated with Negative Urgency (Cohen's d =.99) and Low Premeditation (d =.84), but not for Low Perseverance or Sensation Seeking. A second set of meta-analyses examined broad domains of personality that have previously been found to load on Negative Affect, Positive Affect, Disagreeable Disinhibition, and Unconscientious Disinhibition (Markon, Krueger, & Watson, 2005). Substantial effects were found for Unconscientious Disinhibition (d =.79), Negative Affect (d =.50), and Disagreeable Disinhibition (d =.50), but not Positive Affect. It was concluded that these individual personality characteristics may be important in the etiology of pathological gambling. The personality profile implicated in the etiology of pathological gambling is similar to that found in a recent meta-analysis of substance use disorders (Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt, & Watson, 2010). These results suggest that pathological gambling may be part of a broad cluster of externalizing psychopathology, and also call into question the current classification of pathological gambling as an Impulse Control Disorder in the DSM-IV. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                30 May 2018
                June 2018
                : 7
                : 2
                : 392-400
                [ 1 ]Department of Psychology, University of Calgary , Calgary, Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Dr. Daniel S. McGrath; Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada; Phone: +1 403 220 7268; Fax: +1 403 282 8249; E-mail: daniel.mcgrath@
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 43, Pages: 9
                Funding sources: During the preparation of this mansucript, DSM received partial financial salary support from the Alberta Gambling Research Institute (AGRI). CLR received a graduate scholarship from AGRI.
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