Big five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity [subscription access article].

Abstract: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; 5th ed.) reassignment of gambling disorder as an addictive disorder alongside the substance-related addictive disorders encourages research into their shared etiologies. The aims of this study were to examine: (a) the associations of Big Five personality dimensions with alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorders, (b) the comorbidity between these disorders, (c) the extent to which common personality underpinnings explain comorbidity, (d) whether results differed for men and women, and (e) the magnitude of personality differences corresponding to the 4 disorders. Participants were 3,785 twins and siblings (1,365 men, 2,420 women; Mage = 32 years, range = 21–46 years) from the Australian Twin Registry who completed psychiatric interviews and Big Five personality inventories. The personality profile of high neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness was associated with all 4 addictive disorders. All but 1 of the pairwise associations between the disorders were significant. After accounting for Big Five traits, the associations were attenuated to varying degrees but remained significant. The results were generally similar for men and women. The results suggest that the Big Five traits of neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are associated with the general propensity to develop an addictive disorder and may in part explain their co-occurrence; however, they may be more broadly associated with the propensity for any psychiatric disorder. The effect sizes of the personality associations suggest that the diagnosis of gambling disorder as operationalized by the DSM may be more severe than the other addictive disorders. Calibration of the diagnosis of gambling disorder to the other addictive disorders may be warranted. Article available from APA PsycNET $11.95

Reference: Dash, Genevieve F., Slutske, Wendy S., Martin, Nicholas G., Statham, Dixie J., Agrawal, Arpana, & Lynskey, Michael T. (2019). Big Five Personality Traits and Alcohol, Nicotine, Cannabis, and Gambling Disorder Comorbidity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, (16 May).


Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study [open-access article].

Abstract: It is well known that many problem gamblers also suffer from other psychiatric conditions. However, knowledge regarding the temporal sequencing of the conditions is lacking, as well as insight in possible gender specific patterns. The aim of this study was to examine the risk for psychiatric comorbidity among problem gamblers compared to non-problem gamblers in the general Swedish population, as well as the age of onset and the temporal sequencing of problem gambling and the comorbid psychiatric conditions among lifetime problem gamblers. A case–control study nested in the Swelogs cohort was used. For both the female and the male problem gamblers, the risk for having had a lifetime psychiatric condition was double or more than double compared to the controls. Having experienced anxiety or depression before gambling onset, constituted a risk for developing problem gambling for the women but not for the men. Further, the female cases initiated gambling after their first period of anxiety, depression and problems with substances, and problem gambling was the last condition to evolve. Opposite this, the male cases initiated gambling before any condition evolved, and depression and suicidal events emerged after problem gambling onset. There were large differences in mean age of onset between the female cases and their controls, this was not the case for the males. Gender specific patterns in the association between problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity, as well as in the development of problem gambling needs to be considered in treatment planning as well as by the industry in their advertising. Article available online

Reference: Sundqvist, K. & Rosendahl, I. (2019).Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study. Journal of Gambling Studies. Retrieved from

The Longitudinal Relationships Between Psychiatric Disorders and Gambling Disorders

Hartmann, M. & Blaszczynski, A.

The literature has consistently reported an association between gambling disorders and various comorbid psychiatric and substance conditions. The majority of studies have been cross-sectional in nature, and therefore fail to describe the temporal sequences between these conditions. To investigate these temporal sequences we conducted a scoping review of empirical longitudinal studies that have explored the relationships between gambling disorders and comorbid psychiatric disorders, including any mood and anxiety disorders, suicidal ideations and attempts, and illicit substance, nicotine and alcohol use and dependence. A search was conducted for peer reviewed and unpublished articles, and government reports published between January 2000 and March 2015, with a main focus on the temporal sequence between these two conditions. Studies were only included if they were in English, prospective in nature, studied treatment and population samples and included any form of gambling. A total of 35 publications were identified and the findings discussed in terms of three populations: (i) specific populations, (ii) children, adolescents, and young adults, and (iii) adults. On the basis of these longitudinal findings it is suggested that psychiatric disorders can represent both a precursor and a consequence of problem gambling, and that there are underlying interactive factors, such as impulsivity that can predict and drive both temporal sequences. Screening for comorbid psychiatric conditions upon entering treatment for problem gambling should form an integral part of clinical assessments. However, the extent to which comorbid conditions contribute causally to the development of gambling disorders remains to be conclusively established.

Hartmann, M. & Blaszczynski, A. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2016). doi:10.1007/s11469-016-9705-z