Increased risk taking, not loss tolerance, drives adolescents’ propensity to gamble more under peer observation [open access research report]

Abstract: Relative to adults, adolescents make more welfare-decreasing decisions, especially in the presence of peers. The consequences of these decisions result in substantial individual and societal losses in terms of lives lost, injury, hospitalization costs, and foregone opportunities. In this paper, we used a laboratory experiment with 12- to 24-year-old participants to identify which economic preference is affected by peer observation in adolescence — risk attitudes in gains, risk attitudes in losses, and/or loss aversion. We found that older adolescents (18-24 years old) while observed by peers become more risk-tolerant both in gains and in losses but more loss averse. We discuss potential mechanisms driving the result and its implications for policy. Link to the report

Citation: Tymula, A., & Wang, X. (2020). Increased risk taking, not loss tolerance, drives adolescents’ propensity to gamble more under peer observation. Sydney: School of Economics, University of Sydney.

Problem gambling in adolescents: what are the psychological, social and financial consequences? [article]

Abstract
Background: The paper examines the roles of sociodemographic traits, family quality and risk behaviour in adolescent problem gambling, with focus on the psychological, social and financial consequences from the socioecological model approach. This model emphasizes the most important risk-protective factors in the development and maintenance of problem gambling on an individual level, a relationship level, as well as a community and societal level.

Methods: The research was done using the Canadian Adolescent Gambling Inventory with a sample of 366 participants, 239 females (65.3%) using descriptive statistics and t-test, ANOVA, correlation and hierarchical regression analysis.

Results: Males reported significantly higher gambling consequences on all scales (p < .001) and significantly more risk behaviour (p < .05). Age was significant for psychological consequences (p < .01), problem gambling (p < .01) and risk behaviour (p < .001) with older participants scoring higher. Students with lower school success reported significantly higher psychological consequences of gambling (p < .01), higher risk behaviour activity (p < .001) and lower family life satisfaction (p < .001). The psychological, financial and social consequences were positively correlated with problem gambling (p < .001). Age (p < .05), gender (p < .001), school success (p < .01) and the father’s education level (p. < 05) were significant predictors of problem gambling, with older male adolescents who struggle academically and have lower educated fathers being at greater risk.

Conclusions: Results indicate an important relation between adolescent gambling behaviour and very serious psychological, social and financial consequences. There is a constellation of risk factors that likely place certain individuals at high risk for problem gambling.
Link to the article

Citation: Livazović, G., & Bojčić, K. (2019). Problem gambling in adolescents: what are the psychological, social and financial consequences?. BMC Psychiatry, 19(308). doi:10.1186/s12888-019-2293-2

Identifying the Relationship Between Mental Health Symptoms, Problem Behaviors and Gambling Among Adolescents

By Richard, J., & Derevensky, J.

Abstract: Background: Adolescence represents a significant social and psychological developmental period which can lead to the experimentation with multiple highrisk behaviours. Although associations with problem gambling in youth have been established in the research literature, there is lack of consistency in the results and measures used to assess these constructs while considering the impact of gender and age. The current study examined the relationship between mental health symptoms (anxiety, depression), problem behaviours (aggression, delinquency) and gambling among high-school youth.

Method: Questionnaire responses were collected from 6,818 junior and senior high-school students in a mid-western U.S. community.

Results: Statistical analyses revealed that all mental health symptoms and problem behaviors were related to an increase in gambling frequency and risk for a gambling problem. Of note, both aggressive and delinquent/antisocial problems held the highest risk for gambling problems compared to anxiety and depressive problems. Significant differences were also observed in terms of gender and age.

Conclusion: This study contributes to our understanding of mental health issues and risky behaviors among adolescents.

Richard, J., & Derevensky, J. (2017). Identifying the Relationship Between Mental Health Symptoms, Problem Behaviors and Gambling Among Adolescents. Annals of Behavioural Science, 03(02). https://doi.org/10.21767/2471-7975.100030

 

Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling: A Systematic Review of Recent Research – full text

Calado, F., Alexandre, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling: A Systematic Review of Recent Research. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–28. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-016-9627-5
Previous research has shown that gambling is a popular activity among adolescents. Following a rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities and the emergence of new forms of gambling, many researchers have carried out studies on adolescent gambling and problem gambling. The present paper reviews studies that have been conducted worldwide since 2000, and then presents a more detailed picture of adolescent gambling research in Europe, by providing a country-by country analysis. After an extensive search on academic databases and following an exclusion process, 44 studies were identified. The findings showed that 0.2–12.3 % of youth meet criteria for problem gambling, notwithstanding differences among assessment instruments, cut-offs, and timeframes. However, despite this variability, several demographic characteristics were associated with adolescent gambling involvement and problem gambling. It is concluded that a small but significant minority of adolescents have gambling-related problems. Such findings will hopefully encourage more research into youth gambling to further understand the determinants of this phenomenon.

The relationship between gambling attitudes, involvement, and problems in adolescence: Examining the moderating role of coping strategies and parenting styles

Several factors are associated with an increased risk of adolescent problem gambling, including positive gambling attitudes, higher levels of gambling involvement, ineffective coping strategies and unhelpful parenting practices. It is less clear, however, how these factors interact or influence each other in the development of problem gambling behavior during adolescence. The aim of the current study was to simultaneously explore these predictors, with a particular focus on the extent to which coping skills and parenting styles may moderate the expected association between gambling involvement and gambling problems…

Source: Dixon, R. W., Youssef, G. J., Hasking, P., Yücel, M., Jackson, A. C., & Dowling, N. A. (n.d.). The relationship between gambling attitudes, involvement, and problems in adolescence: Examining the moderating role of coping strategies and parenting styles. Addictive Behaviors. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.02.011