The Four Es 1-year later : a tool for predicting the development of gambling problems
The Four Es is a 40-item scale measuring psychological risk for the development of problem gambling behavior. One-year follow-up interviews (n = 395) from a previously reported phone survey in Queensland, Australia (n = 2,577) (Rockloff & Dyer, 2006) tested the ability of the Four Es instrument to prospectively identify persons who would later develop gambling problems. Two groups of participants were selected for the 1-year follow-up interviews, including (1) persons who had gambling problems, high-risk alcohol abuse problems, and/or substance abuse problems (abuse group); and (2) a random selection of other persons from the original survey (random group). The results indicated that the “Excess” trait, which measures impulsive behavior, was predictive of relative increases in gambling problems for both groups over the 1-year period. Additionally, the Four Es questionnaire showed good psychometric properties in the surveys, with a test-retest reliability of r = .70 and a Cronbach’s alpha reliability of α = .90 and .92 in the original and follow-up interviews, respectively.