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

 

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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