Discrete Roles for Impulsivity and Compulsivity in Gambling Disorder Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background and Objective: Complex associations between gambling disorder (GD) and impulsivity have been identified. However, little is known regarding how compulsivity associates with different impulsivity domains in GD. In this study, we examined associations between self-reported and behavioral measures of impulsivity–assessed through the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and the Experiential Discounting Task (EDT), respectively- and compulsivity-measured using the Padua Inventory and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), respectively-, in an adult sample with GD (N = 132, 94 men and 38 women, ages ranging from 18 to 69 years). GD severity was assessed using the South Oaks Gambling Screen.Methods: Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine relationships between impulsivity and compulsivity measures, age, and GD severity.Results: BIS-11 non-planning and BIS-11 total scores positively correlated with GD severity. The standardized coefficients for the SEM showed direct positive contributions of BIS-11 non-planning, Padua and EDT scores to GD severity. Only participants' ages directly contributed to WCST perseverative errors, and no direct or indirect effects were found with respect to GD severity.Conclusion: The findings suggest that specific aspects of impulsivity and compulsivity contribute to GD severity. Interventions specifically targeting domains that are most relevant to GD severity may improve treatment outcomes.


  • Mestre-Bach, Gemma
  • Steward, Trevor
  • Balodis, Iris
  • DeVito, Elise E
  • Yip, Sarah W
  • George, Tony P
  • Reynolds, Brady A
  • Granero, Roser
  • Fernandez-Aranda, Fernando
  • Jimenez-Murcia, Susana
  • Potenza, Marc N

publication date

  • January 2021