Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 319–345 | Cite as

Impulsiveness, Locus of Control, Motivation and Problem Gambling

  • Dave ClarkeEmail author


A questionnaire consisting of demographic items, questions about gambling behavior, the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), a depression inventory, the Eysenck Impulsiveness Questionnaire, Levenson’s Internality, Powerful Others and Chance Scales of locus of control and the Gambling Motivation Scale, was completed by a non-random sample of 147 New Zealand university students who gambled for money, median age 24 years. Approximately 17 of the sample was classified as problem gamblers, the rest as non-problem gamblers. Multivariate analysis of variance showed that there were significant differences between problem and non-problem gamblers on gambling frequency, number of activities, parents’ gambling, depression, impulsiveness and motivation, but not on locus of control. Amotivation (apathy) and motivation towards stimulation correlated with powerful others and chance locus of control, and motivation to impress others with powerful others locus of control. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that: (1) beyond gambling frequency, number of activities and parents’ gambling, motivation explained a substantial proportion of variance in SOGS scores, with impulsiveness accounting for a lesser amount, and (2) predictors of problem gambling included impulsiveness, amotivation and the motivations for accomplishment and tension release. It was concluded that gambling motivation is a more useful construct than locus of control in explaining problem gambling. Suggestions were made for future research, and aspects of gambling motivation were discussed in terms of a treatment program with groups of problem gamblers.


gambling impulsiveness locus of control motivation personality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyMassey University, Albany CampusNew Zealand

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