The Role of Personal Values in Gambling: A Preliminary Study with Italian Adolescents

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Values have been defined as trans-situational goals that serve as guiding principles in people’s life to select modes, means, and actions. Despite values being relevant predictors of behaviors, their role in shaping adolescents’ gambling ones has been under investigated. Specifically, the present study aimed at exploring whether and which values may be protective or risk factors for gambling behaviors, this also considering gender differences. Respondents were 237 adolescents (aged from 14 to 19; 58.2% female), recruited from three Italian high schools, who were asked to fill in a self-report and anonymous online questionnaire investigating their values and gambling behaviors. Specifically, the Portrait Values Questionnaire and the South Oaks Gambling Screen: Revised for Adolescents were used. Results showed that males were keener to adopt more frequently gambling behaviors, this also being more problematic, compared to their female counterparts. Despite conservation and openness to change values seem not to influence gambling behaviors, self-transcendence and self-enhancement values respectively negatively and positively predict gambling problems. More interestingly, self-transcendence values seem to work better as protective factors toward the severity of this risk behavior especially for the male subsample. Implications for preventive and promotional interventions with adolescents are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adolescents
  • gambling
  • gender differences
  • personal values
  • risk behaviors


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