Comparison of Temperament and Character Between Early- and Late-Onset Korean Male Pathological Gamblers
Shin YC, Lim SW, Choi SW, Kim SW, Grant JE.
Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. J Gambl Stud. 2009 Feb 27
PURPOSES: We investigated differences in temperament and character between early and late onset Korean pathological gamblers to identify whether the age of onset of pathological gambling (PG) could discriminate PG subtypes, like in alcoholism.
METHODS: Male subjects (N = 104) with DSM-IV PG were tested with Cloninger’s temperament and character inventory (TCI). We divided patients into two groups: early onset (N = 34) with gambling problems before reaching 25 years old, and late onset (N = 70) with gambling after the age of 25.
RESULTS: Early-onset patients showed a higher score in novelty seeking (NS) and harm avoidance (HA), but lower scores of self-transcendence. There was no difference in reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, or cooperativeness between two groups. After adjusting for age differences by ANCOVA (using age as a covariate), the early onset group showed a significantly higher score in both HA (F ((1,101)) = 4.932, P = 0.029) and NS (F ((1,101)) = 3.948, P = 0.050) but not in any other TCI dimensions.
CONCLUSIONS: Early- and late-onset Korean male pathological gamblers showed several distinct differences in temperament and character, indicating that age of onset may help discriminate PG subgroups.