Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 113–120 | Cite as

Temperament and Character in Pathological Gambling

  • Conny Nordin
  • Per-Olof Nylander
Original Paper



We have studied temperament and character in pathological gambling (PG).


Thirty-eight DSM-IV verified pathological gamblers (31 males and 7 females; mean age 35.4 ± 10.4 years) were tested with Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Matched controls were chosen from the normal population.


Pathological gamblers scored higher on the temperament factors novelty seeking (NS) and harm avoidance (HA). The most pronounced difference was found in the character factor self-directedness (SD). The pathological gamblers differed from controls in cooperativeness and self-transcendence. A personality disorder was found in 29% of the pathological gamblers 84% of whom scored either low on SD and high on impulsivity or had a more dishonest behaviour. Two-thirds of pathological gamblers showed immature character with or without high HA in temperament. The other third showed normal-character extravagant behaviour (86%), high impulsivity (36%) and less responsibility (50%) being the most common personality traits.


HA and NS might be trait-like characteristics in PG.


Pathological gambling Personality TCI 



This study was supported by grants from the Swedish Medical Research Council (13066) and the Östergötland County Council. We thank our research nurse, Mrs. Maude Mansfield, for her excellent assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion, Psychiatry Section, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of LinköpingLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Psychiatric ClinicKalmar HospitalKalmarSweden

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