Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 51–71 | Cite as

Personality Disorders Among Pathological Gamblers

  • Alex Blaszczynski
  • Zachary Steel


The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of DSM-III-R diagnostic categories of personality disorders in pathological gamblers and to highlight the possible association between such disorders, psychological distress and selected forms of gambling. The Personality Disorders Questionnaire-Revised and a battery of psychometric measures were administered to a sample of 82 consecutive admissions to a behavioral treatment program for gambling problems at an impulse control disorders research unit in Sydney, Australia. Seventy-three percent of subjects were male. The total sample reported having gambled a mean of 15 years of which, on average, the last 6.4 years were associated with problems. Results indicated that the majority of subjects met diagnostic criteria for at least one Personality Disorder (93%), with an average of 4.6 personality disorders per subject. The majority of gamblers evidenced personality disorders from the Cluster B grouping with particularly high rates of borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders which were found to be associated with high levels of impulsivity and affective instability. Antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder were both found to be possible mediators of the severity of the problem gambling behaviours.


Psychological Distress Treatment Program Behavioral Treatment Problem Gambling Research Unit 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Blaszczynski
    • 1
  • Zachary Steel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South Wales, AustraliaLiverpool NSW 2170Australia

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