Psychodiagnostic Assessment of Pathological Gamblers: A Focus on Personality Disorders, Clinical Syndromes and Alexithymia

  • Giuseppe Maniaci
  • Francesca Picone
  • Tommaso Dimarco
  • Alessandro Lipari
  • Anna Brancato
  • Carla Cannizzaro


Comorbid psychopathological syndromes are common in pathological gamblers (PGs), but the contribution of alexithymia, as a disorder of affect regulation, has not been fully explored yet. This study sought to examine the association between personality disorders, clinical syndromes and alexithymia levels in a group of PGs and to highlight a relationship between gambling behaviour and alexithymia scores, apart from the relationship between other disorders and gambling behaviour. Psychological assessment included the South Oaks Gambling Screen, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) performed on 70 treatment seeking PGs and 70 healthy controls. Statistical analysis on the results shows a greater presence of mental disorders in PGs together with alterations in emotional processing. Moreover, a significant contribution of alexithymia in predicting gambling behaviour has been revealed. In conclusion, even though the assessment of personality disorders and clinical syndromes in PGs should be considered as an essential diagnostical step, alexithymia must be regarded as a relevant psychological feature, in order to produce the most accurate diagnosis available and select the correct therapeutical choice.


Pathological gambling Gambling addiction Alexithymia Personality disorders Clinical syndromes Behavioral addiction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Maniaci
    • 1
  • Francesca Picone
    • 2
  • Tommaso Dimarco
    • 3
  • Alessandro Lipari
    • 4
  • Anna Brancato
    • 1
  • Carla Cannizzaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care “G. D’Alessandro”University of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.UOS Sert MontelepreCeDiSS, ASP PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Department Pathological AddictionASP PalermoPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Department Pathological AddictionCeDiSS, ASP PalermoPalermoItaly

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