Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 21–38 | Cite as

The Categorical Stability of Gambling Motives Among Community-Recruited Gamblers: A Longitudinal Assessment

  • Daniel S. McGrath
  • Barna Konkolÿ Thege
Original Paper


Over the past decade, several motivational models have been proposed to explain the role of motives in gambling disorder. In the model captured by the four-factor Gambling Motives Questionnaire Financial (GMQ-F), gamblers are described as being primarily motivated to gamble for ‘coping’, ‘enhancement’, ‘social’, and ‘financial’ reasons. Although this model has received significant empirical support; to date, research assessing the role of motives in gambling disorder has been primarily cross-sectional in nature. Thus, the extent to which gambling motives remain stable over time has yet to be explored. In the current study, the stability versus fluidity of self-assessed gambling motives was investigated using the Quinte Longitudinal Study, a longitudinal dataset of gambling behaviour collected over 5 years. Gambling motives of 2795 gamblers were examined over all five annual assessments. The total proportion of gamblers who stayed in the same primary motive category across each of the 5 consecutive assessments was 22%, indicating substantial fluidity in category membership. Substantial movement between categories was seen for each GMQ-F group, as well as an additional group of non-classified motives. Logistic regression analyses suggest that greater resistance to gambling fallacies significantly predicted stability between the baseline assessment and a follow-up 1 year later, but gambling severity did not. Potential limitations in the study design and opportunities for future research are discussed.


Reasons for gambling Gambling motives Gambling disorder Longitudinal design Group stability 



The present research was supported by Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO). The authors also wish to thank Nicole Romanow, Christina Rash, Emma Ritchie, and Celina Boothby for their valuable help.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Human Subject Research Committee at the University of Lethbridge) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Research and Academics DivisionWaypoint Centre for Mental Health CarePenetanguisheneCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Behavioral SciencesSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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