Perfectionism has been implicated in several psychiatric disorders, including eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. In the current research, we extended the analysis of perfectionism to understand disordered gambling. Unlike other life domains in which people with perfectionistic tendencies can objectively control outcomes (e.g., dieting to control one’s body shape or weight in eating disorders), perfectionism in the gambling context is unique because there is little to no objective control over gambling outcomes (i.e., winning money). We hypothesized that gamblers with perfectionistic tendencies may set themselves a high standard within the financial success domain, which would manifest in more severe disordered gambling symptoms. We also hypothesized that having a self-concept that is focused on financial success would mediate the relation between perfectionistic tendencies and disordered gambling severity. To test this mediation model, we asked a community sample of gamblers (n =258) to complete measures that assessed perfectionistic tendencies, financially focused self-concept, and disordered gambling severity. In line with expectations, there was a moderate positive relation between perfectionistic tendencies and disordered gambling severity, which was further mediated by financially focused self-concept. These findings suggest that perfectionistic tendencies among gamblers are associated with disordered gambling because such tendencies result in a self-concept that is focused on financial success. The findings also suggest that targeting gamblers’ perfectionistic tendencies in prevention and treatment interventions may be instrumental in alleviating their financial focus, which would help curtail the development and maintenance of disordered gambling.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Disordered gambling, Money, Perfectionism, Self-concept
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Gambling Issues
Tabri, N, Werner, K.M. (Kaitlyn M.), Milyavskaya, M, & Wohl, M. (2018). Perfectionism predicts disordered gambling via financially focused self-concept. Journal of Gambling Issues, 2018(38), 252–267. doi:10.4309/jgi.2018.38.13