Associations of Dark Triad traits and problem gambling: Moderating role of age among university students

  • Nneoma Gift Onyedire
  • JohnBosco Chika ChukwuorjiEmail author
  • Tochukwu Charles Orjiakor
  • Desmond U. Onu
  • Chiagoziem Isaac Aneke
  • Chuka Mike Ifeagwazi


The current study examined the associations of Dark Triad personality factors (namely, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) with problem gambling, and whether age moderates nature of these associations. Participants were 252 Nigerian undergraduate students who were identified as sports gamblers. They completed the 27-item Short Dark Triad and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Results showed that psychopathy and student’s age positively predicted problem gambling, while narcissism was a negative predictor of problem gambling. Machiavellianism did not significantly predict problem gambling. It was also found that at older age, the associations of narcissism and psychopathy with problem gambling was stronger than at mean age, but non-existent at younger age. Age did not moderate of the relationship between Machiavellianism and problem gambling. Implications of the findings for problem gambling engagement, and prevention strategies in at risk university students were highlighted.


Age Dark triad Intervention Moderation Problem gambling University students 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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