An examination of psychosocial variables involved in adolescent gambling and high-risk behaviors

  • author:

    Jeffrey L. Derevensky
  • published in

    : 2004
  • summary

    : The current study empirically examined the relations between several risk and protective variables associated with adolescent gambling. More specifically, the relations among self-reported familial, emotional, social, and behavioral variables and youth gambling problems were investigated. The current study also sought to identify risk factors that may be related to youth problem gambling. Participants consisted of 2,336 students in grades 7 to 13 (ages 12 to 19) recruited from various elementary and high schools in the Province of Ontario. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding gambling activities (GAQ), gambling severity (DSM-IV-MR-J), perceived social support (PSS Friend and Family), drug and alcohol dependence (PESQ), and various social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and attentional problems (CASS:L). With respect to gambling severity as assessed by the DSM-IV-MR-J gambling screen, 4.9% of adolescents were found to be probable pathological gamblers, and 8.0% at-risk gamblers. The results identified a multitude of problems experienced by problem gamblers. These risk factors for problem gambling include academic difficulties, poor perceived familial and peer social support, cognitive problems, emotional problems, substance use problems, conduct problems, family problems, parental involvement in gambling and substances, and ADHD and related symptoms, particularly inattention. The magnitude of problems and psychopathology that are reported by probable pathological gamblers and at-risk problem gamblers demonstrates that these individuals are experiencing difficulties and are likely using their gambling to escape their problems. The current study also enabled the identification of a set of predictor variables which lead to problem gambling, including having family problems, conduct problems, being addicted to drugs or alcohol, and being male. These findings are interpreted with respect to their implications for the development of risk reduction prevention and intervention programs. Directions for future research are discussed.
  • type

    : article in journal
  • other publication details

    : AAT NQ85712
  • original language

    : English
  • keywords

    : adolescent , gambling , high-risk behavior , psychosocial
  • Article entered in GambLIB database on feb. 13. 2009, 13:02
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