Clarifying the role of personality dispositions in risk for increased gambling behavior

Melissa A. Cyders, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


The current study clarifies the role of personality for increased gambling behaviors. The authors compared five traits, each involving a different disposition to rash action, predicting increased gambling behavior across the transition into college life. The authors sampled 418 college students (75% female; median age 18.0 years) across their freshman year. Participants completed the UPPS-P scale and measures to assess gambling and risky behavior participation. SEM analyses showed that although the disposition to engage in rash action when in an unusually positive mood (positive urgency), lack of planning, and sensation seeking all related to both gambling behavior and general risky behavior (e.g., mountain climbing) cross-sectionally, only positive urgency predicted longitudinal increases in gambling behavior and only sensation seeking predicted longitudinal increases in general risky behaviors. Beginning college students high in positive urgency are at increased risk to increase their gambling behavior in college.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Melissa A. Cyders and Gregory T. Smith, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky. Portions of this research were supported by an NIAAA NRSA award to Melissa Cyders, under the supervision of Gregory Smith, and by an RO1AA016166 to Gregory Smith. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Melissa A. Cyders at the Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0044, .


  • Emotion
  • Gambling
  • Impulsivity
  • Longitudinal
  • Risky behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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