An examination of the role of personality and self-regulation in the gambling behaviours of late adolescents and emerging adults
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The purposes of this study were: a) to examine the role of personality and selfregulation in the gambling behaviour participation of late adolescents and emerging adults. In particular, the present study examined i f certain personality traits were more prevalent in high-risk gamblers than in young people considered low or at-risk gamblers; and, b) to examine i f the ability to self-regulate helped distinguish differences among the three groups of gamblers (low-risk, at-risk, and high-risk gamblers). A sample of late adolescents and emerging adults (N = 100) attending Brock University, completed a survey that assessed current gambling behaviour (both frequency and consequence experience), personality, self-esteem, and self-regulation. It was found that high-risk gamblers had lower scores on the personality dimensions Emotionality, Conscientiousness (especially on its Prudence facet), and Honesty-Humility (especially on its Fairness, Greed Avoidance, and Modesty facets) than at-risk or low-risk gamblers and higher scores on impulsive sensation seeking and impulsivity than at-risk or low-risk gamblers. Similarly, high-risk gamblers reported lower levels of self-regulation than both at-risk and low-risk gamblers. The findings from this study support past research which suggests that young people who gamble at problematic levels differ on many personality traits and often have more difficulty self-regulating than young people who do not participate at problematic levels. Findings may aid in the development of intervention and prevention programs that utilize specific self-regulation techniques with a young gambling population.