The Role of Personality Traits in Gambling Addiction in Young People

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Technology has been advancing rapidly and becoming increasingly sophisticated over the last decade, enabling the creation of numerous gaming environments that are highly attractive, engaging and immersive. Easy and cheap access to the internet across various devices at all times along with high computer literacy has made these “virtual worlds” very popular, particularly amongst the younger population. Leisure time is increasingly being spent engaged in gaming activities. While a moderate amount of gaming is in fact beneficial, excessive gaming can result in various biopsychosocial problems and interfere with functioning in various areas of life. The alarming rate of cases of gaming addiction highlights the need to better understand the factors that predispose or increase the risk of development of this behavioural addiction.

The purpose of the present study was to understand the role of personality traits and perception of stress in the development of gaming addiction in young adults. This chapter states the conclusions drawn from the research findings and the implications of the same. The limitations of this study as well as the further scope and directions have also been discussed.


The findings of the study lead to the following conclusions:

  1. Gamers and non-gamers do not differ significantly in their personality traits and perception of stress.
  2. Gamers and non-gamers differ significantly in their degree of addiction to gaming.
  3. The personality traits of Openness, Agreeableness and Extraversion are not significantly correlated to Gaming Addiction.
  4. Conscientiousness is negatively correlated to the perception of stress and addiction to gaming.
  5. Neuroticism is positively correlated to perceived stress and addiction to gaming.
  6. Perceived stress is not significantly related to Gaming Addiction.


The present study corroborates previous research findings in support of certain personality traits increasing the vulnerability of behavioural addictions. It provides further evidence that low conscientiousness and high neurotic tendencies may predispose a person to develop an addiction to gaming. No concrete evidence was found to suggest that the traits of agreeableness and openness influence gaming addictions. Hence, it can be concluded that these factors do not have a significant impact on behavioural addictions.

While some past researches concluded that the dimensional personality traits of extraversion and introversion influence the development and maintenance of addictive gaming, no such conclusive evidence was found in this study. In fact, the present are findings contradictory in that the trait of extraversion was found to not be significantly related to gaming behaviours. This highlights the need for further research to yield conclusive evidence.

The research findings also contradict the widely held notion that stress increases addictive habits and behaviours. No direct relation was found between the perception of stress and gaming addiction. Thus, contrary to popular belief, addictive behaviour (in the form of gaming), is not directly influenced by the perception of stress. More in-depth studies are required to understand and determine the link between stress perception and addictive behaviours. This also indicates that occasional gaming as a stress release may be said to be not very harmful as long as it is self-controlled and not used excessively as a coping mechanism.

Finally, this study provides more insight into the factors responsible and not responsible for the development and maintenance of addiction to games. It can be safely said that these same factors might also more or less influence other addictive behaviours. The identification of these and other predisposing factors can aid in the early detection of addictive gaming behaviour and interventions can be made to prevent it from aggravating and developing into a severe addiction. In addition to this, well-informed decisions can be made informing interventions and treatment plans which will make them more effective and suitable to treat gaming and other such behavioural addictions.

Limitations of the research

The present study focused on a limited age group of young adults, i.e. 18 to 25 years only. The sample size was also quite small and selected from a restricted geographical area. Due to this, the conclusions drawn may be applicable only to some extent. Broad generalizations cannot be made that are applicable to the whole population.

Offline gamers were not included in the study due to practical difficulties and limited resources. Offline games consist of a sizeable chunk of the gaming world and also hold the potential to become addictive. Hence, the results of this study are valid only for those who solely engage in online gaming activities. The results may or may not hold true for offline gamers. Further, the sample was divided into only two groups, namely gamers and non-gamers. Yet there is wider diversity in gamers such as occasional gamers, single-player gamers, multiple player gamers and gamers of specific genres (such as arcade, role-playing, etc).

Being quantitative research using questionnaires as a form of data collection, individual and situational factors could not be adequately controlled and the effect of these on the participants’ responses could not be accounted for.

This study included a limited number of factors that potentially contribute to the addiction to gaming. However, addiction does not develop solely due to predisposing personality traits and stress. Many other factors are responsible for and influence the development and maintenance of gaming addictions. These factors may have direct and/or indirect effects on behaviour and may influence each other, thus together determining the possibility of addiction.

Further directions

A larger and more diverse sample can be studied that includes a wider age group and a more specific grouping of types of gamers and game genres. Gender differences can also be explored in terms of the prevalence, degree and deterministic factors of excessive gaming. A comparative study can be carried out between single-player and multiplayer game players or between gamers of different genres of games. A longitudinal study can also be conducted to determine the development of gaming addiction over time and investigate the various mediating factors. An investigative study can be undertaken into the role of stress as a driving force for gaming addiction as well as the effect of gaming on stress reduction.


The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between personality traits and perceived stress to the degree of gaming addiction in young adults. Two groups comprising of gaming addicts and non-addicts were studied. It has been concluded that personality traits and perception of stress do not differ widely between the two groups. The perception of stress and the personality traits of Openness, Agreeableness and Extraversion are not strongly influential in determining addiction to gaming. However, high Neuroticism and low Conscientiousness traits may predispose the individual to develop an addiction towards gaming. The evidence put forth by this research is an addition to the existing body of literature that seeks to understand the causal and risk factors of the development of behavioural addictions. It can aid in early detection and prevention efforts as well as in the formulation of effective intervention strategies and treatment plans. 

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The role of personality traits in gambling addiction in young people. (2021, Nov 25). Retrieved July 23, 2024 , from

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