Time Perspectives and Gambling in Adolescent Boys: Differential Effects of Present- and Future-Orientation

  • Maria Anna DonatiEmail author
  • Elena Sottili
  • Kinga Morsanyi
  • Caterina Primi
Original Paper


Adolescent boys are characterised by increased risk-taking behavior, including a relatively high propensity to develop problem gambling habits. The association between gambling and sensitivity to immediately available rewards is well-established, suggesting that gamblers are less influenced by potential future consequences than non-gamblers. Nevertheless, existing studies have considered present- and future-orientation as two ends of the same continuum, and have not investigated the possibility that present and future perspectives might make independent contributions to gambling behavior. In the current study, we adopted Zimbardo’s multidimensional approach, which discriminates between not only present and future perspectives, but also between a hedonistic and fatalistic present-orientation (in addition to positive and negative orientations towards the past). The participants were 223 male adolescents (mean age = 16.7 years). We investigated the effects of time perspectives on gambling frequency and gambling problem severity, after taking into account the effects of age, sensation seeking, and gambling-related cognitive distortions. Gambling frequency was significantly predicted by the present fatalistic perspective, and problem gambling was significantly (negatively) related to the future perspective. The present hedonistic and past negative perspectives were also significantly related to both gambling frequency and gambling problems, although they did not explain additional variance in gambling behavior when the effects of the other factors were controlled. Overall, these results offer a fresh perspective on the role of time perspectives in gambling behavior, with potential implications for understanding the origins of gambling problems and the development of novel interventions.


Adolescent risk taking Cognitive distortions Future orientation Gambling Sensation seeking Time perspectives 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Standard

All procedures performed in this study 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Anna Donati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elena Sottili
    • 1
  • Kinga Morsanyi
    • 2
  • Caterina Primi
    • 1
  1. 1.NEUROFARBA Department, Section of PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.School of PsychologyQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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