Prevalence, risk factors, and psychosocial adjustment of problematic gambling in adolescents: Results from two representative German samples [open access article]

Journal of Behavioral Addictions: DOI: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.37

Abstract: Background and aims
Gambling disorder is a significant public health concern. Especially, male minors have been shown to gamble in a problematic way, despite legal prohibitions.

Methods
We examined representative samples of students aged from 12 to 18 years (N = 9,309) in two German federal states to provide prevalence data and clinical description of risk factors for problematic gambling.

Results
We found that about 40% of the adolescents reported engaging in gambling activities within the past 12 months and found prevalence rates of 1.7% and 2.2% for problematic gambling. Especially, use of online gambling and slot machines was found to be related to problematic gambling. Male adolescents with a migration background were of higher risk for problematic gambling and psychopathological symptoms were significantly elevated among that group.

Discussion
The results indicate that participation in gambling activities is common among underaged adolescents and that prevalence of problematic gambling exceeds rates of adults. Similarly, problematic gambling is associated with increased psychopathological strain.

Conclusion
Given that a high proportion of adult gamblers report having started gambling in adolescents, our data emphasize the need for prevention and early intervention strategies for problematic gambling. Access full article

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Online Gambling among Treatment-Seeking Patients in Singapore: A Cross-Sectional Study [Full-text]

Melvyn Zhang, Yi Yang, Song Guo, Chris Cheok, Kim Eng Wong and
Gomathinayagam Kandasami – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health — Open Access Journal

Abstract: Given that technology has greatly facilitated easier access to gambling in previous years, it is timely to look in-depth into online gambling activities and behaviors. There have been several studies that examined online gambling. However, most of the current studies to date have focused on determining the prevalence and the epidemiology of problem gambling arising from online gambling in Western cohorts. There remains a paucity of research looking at the problem of online gambling among Asian individuals. The objectives of the current study are to elucidate the characteristics of online gambling among an Asian cohort and to explore the harm associated with online gambling and the potential mechanisms by which harm associated with online gambling could be minimized.

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Design and Methods of the New Zealand National Gambling Study, a Prospective Cohort Study of Gambling and Health: 2012–2019

By Abbott, M., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N., & Kolandai-Matchett, K.

Abstract: This paper describes the design, sampling, recruitment, and data analysis of the prospective, nationally representative New Zealand National Gambling Study. Particular aspects of the study were critical for its success as a longitudinal epidemiologic study, making its methodology beneficial for replication in other jurisdictions. At baseline (2012), 6251 adults were interviewed and followed-up in 2013, 2014, and 2015. An additional cohort of 106 moderate-risk/problem gamblers interviewed at baseline (2014–2015) and follow-up (2015–2016) increased the number of these groups in the study. Measures included gambling commencement, gambling frequency, gambling risk levels, at-risk and problem gambling development (incidence), comorbidity, problem gambling cessation, and relapse. Future stages include a follow-up assessment in 2019 and a qualitative study. The study design enables assessment of population and individual level changes and transitions over time, identification of risk and protective factors, and comparisons with previous similarly designed prospective studies. Methods for enhancing response rates and retention are discussed.

Abbott, M., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N., & Kolandai-Matchett, K. (2017). Design and Methods of the New Zealand National Gambling Study, a Prospective Cohort Study of Gambling and Health: 2012–2019. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(6), 1242–1269. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9843-y