The structure of pathological gambling among Korean gamblers: A cluster and factor analysis of clinical and demographic characteristics

Tae Kyung Lee, Richard A. Labrie, Jon E. Grant, Suck W Kim, Howard J. Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper reports the underlying structure of the demographic and clinical characteristics of level 3 (i.e., pathological) Korean casino gamblers. The participants reported their gambling behavior and clinical characteristics known to be associated with gambling problems (e.g., alcohol use problems, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and impulsivity). Factor analysis identified three domains underlying level 3 gambling: emotional instability, reward sensitivity/drive, and behavioral expression. A cluster analysis identified that the "Reward sensitivity/drive" and the "Behavioral expression" were determinant factors for characterizing clusters, while the "Emotional instability" was considered as a general factor contributing to level 3 gambling. Discriminant analysis using the composite values correctly classified 95% of the participants among three clusters. These results suggest that Korean level 3 gambling is not a unidimensional disorder, but instead a multidimensional phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-563
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research was supported by grant YHKIM-05-IMH to Dr. Lee from the Institute of Mental Health at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. The author would like to acknowledge and extend a special thanks to the staff and faculty of the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medial School for their important contribution to this paper. This work has been supported, in part, by the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, and


  • Cluster analysis
  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • Level 3 gambler
  • Multidimensional disorder
  • Prevalence


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