Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1191–1202 | Cite as

Living in the Now: Decision-Making and Delay Discounting in Adolescent Gamblers

Original Paper


Several studies examining the relationship of affective decision-making and delay discounting in disordered gambling demonstrated that adult pathological gamblers differ from healthy controls on both reward-related decision tasks. To date no study analyzed the relative contribution of these variables in adolescent gambling. This study was designed to compare affective decision-making and delay discounting in gamblers and nongamblers Italian adolescents, controlling for alcohol consumption. A total of 138 adolescents took part in the research. Two equal-number groups, defined according to the scoring rules for the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents, were administered the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ), and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Zero-order correlations among all variables revealed a moderate negative association between IGT and MCQ scores only in nongamblers group. Results of mixed-model ANOVAs indicated that, compared with nongamblers, adolescent gamblers performed worse on the IGT, showed steeper delay discounting, and scored significantly higher on the AUDIT. Results of logistic regression analysis indicated that IGT, MCQ, and AUDIT scores are all significant predictors of gambling status. This novel finding provides the first evidence of an association among problematic gambling, maladaptive decision-making, and steep delay discounting among adolescents, as already observed in adults.


Gambling Adolescence Decision-making Delay discounting Alcohol consumption 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethics Committee of the Department of Psychology of the Second University of Naples and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly

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