Trait urgency and gambling problems in young people by age: The mediating role of decision-making processes

Canale, N., Vieno, A., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Rubaltelli, E. and Santinello, M., 2015. Trait urgency and gambling problems in young people by age: The mediating role of decision-making processes. Addictive Behaviors, 46, pp. 39-44. ISSN 0306-4603

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Although the personality trait of urgency has been linked to problem gambling, less is known about psychological mechanisms that mediate the relationship between urgency and problem gambling. One individual variable of potential relevance to impulsivity and addictive disorders is age. The aims of this study were to examine: (i) a theoretical model associating urgency and gambling problems, (ii) the mediating effects of decision-making processes (operationalized as preference for small/immediate rewards and lower levels of deliberative decision-making); and (iii) age differences in these relationships. Participants comprised 986 students (64% male; mean age=19.51 years; SD=2.30) divided into three groups: 16-17 years, 18-21 years, and 22-25 years. All participants completed measures of urgency, problem gambling, and a delay-discounting questionnaire involving choices between a smaller amount of money received immediately and a larger amount of money received later. Participants were also asked to reflect on their decision-making process. Compared to those aged 16-17 years and 22-25 years, participants aged 18-21 years had a higher level of gambling problems and decreased scores on lower levels of deliberative decision-making. Higher levels of urgency were associated with higher levels of gambling problems. The association was mediated by a lower level of deliberative decision-making and preference for an immediate/small reward. A distinct pathway was observed for lower levels of deliberative decision-making. Young people who tend to act rashly in response to extreme moods, had lower levels of deliberative decision-making, that in turn were positively related to gambling problems. This study highlights unique decision-making pathways through which urgency trait may operate, suggesting that those developing prevention and/or treatment strategies may want to consider the model’s variables, including urgency, delay discounting, and deliberative decision-making.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Impulsivity, decision-making and gambling [running head]
Publication Title: Addictive Behaviors
Creators: Canale, N., Vieno, A., Griffiths, M.D., Rubaltelli, E. and Santinello, M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 2015
Volume: 46
ISSN: 0306-4603
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Dec 2015 16:32
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:57

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