Time Perspectives and Gambling in Adolescent Boys : Differential Effects of Present- and Future-Orientation

Maria Anna Donati, Elena Sottili, Kinga Morsanyi, Caterina Primi

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10 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Adolescent boys are characterised by increased risk-taking behavior, including a relatively high propensity to develop problem gambling habits. The association between gambling and sensitivity to immediately available rewards is well-established, suggesting that gamblers are less influenced by potential future consequences than non-gamblers. Nevertheless, existing studies have considered present- and future-orientation as two ends of the same continuum, and have not investigated the possibility that present and future perspectives might make independent contributions to gambling behavior. In the current study, we adopted Zimbardo's multidimensional approach, which discriminates between not only present and future perspectives, but also between a hedonistic and fatalistic present-orientation (in addition to positive and negative orientations towards the past). The participants were 223 male adolescents (mean age = 16.7 years). We investigated the effects of time perspectives on gambling frequency and gambling problem severity, after taking into account the effects of age, sensation seeking, and gambling-related cognitive distortions. Gambling frequency was significantly predicted by the present fatalistic perspective, and problem gambling was significantly (negatively) related to the future perspective. The present hedonistic and past negative perspectives were also significantly related to both gambling frequency and gambling problems, although they did not explain additional variance in gambling behavior when the effects of the other factors were controlled. Overall, these results offer a fresh perspective on the role of time perspectives in gambling behavior, with potential implications for understanding the origins of gambling problems and the development of novel interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of gambling studies
Issue number1
Early online date04 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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