Gambling disorder in adolescents: what do we know about this social problem and its consequences? [open access article]

Abstract: Gambling disorder (GD) is a psychiatric condition and it is characterized by a maladaptive pattern of gambling behavior that persists despite negative consequences in major areas of life functioning. In Italy, CNR (National Research Council) underlined how over 17 million, 42.8% of the population aged 15–64 have a gambling behavior. Among them, there are over one million students, aged 15–19, equal to 44.2% of Italian students; the number of minors in Italy with GD in 2017 was 580,000, equal to 33.6%. Access full article

Pietro Ferrara, Giulia Franceschini and Giovanni Corsello. (2018). Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 44:146. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13052-018-0592-8

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Peer group identification as determinant of youth behavior and the role of perceived social support in problem gambling [open access article]

Abstract: Gambling opportunities have increased rapidly during recent years. Previous research shows that gambling is a popular activity among youth, which may contribute to problem gambling. This study examined how social identification with online and offline peer groups associates with youth problem gambling behavior and if perceived social support buffers this relationship. Data were gathered with an online survey with 1212 American and 1200 Finnish participants between 15 and 25 years of age. Measures included the South Oaks Gambling Screen for problem gambling, and items for peer group identification and perceived social support.

It was found that youth who identify strongly with offline peer groups were less likely to engage in problem gambling, while strong identification with online peer groups had the opposite effect. We also found that the associations between social identification and problem gambling behavior were moderated by perceived social support. Online peer groups may be a determinant in youth problem gambling. Focusing on offline peer groups and increasing social support can hold significant potential in youth gambling prevention. Access full article

Savolainen, I., Sirola, A., Kaakinen, M., et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-9813-8

Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling (full text)

By Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L.

Abstract: The present research examined the mechanisms of initiating online gambling among young adults. Of particular interest was whether social casino gaming was noted as part of young adults’ experience with online gambling. This is because there is growing concern that social casino gaming may be a “gateway” to online gambling. Three focus groups (N = 21) were conducted with young adult online gamblers from two large Canadian Universities. Participants noted the role of peer influence as well as incentives (e.g., sign up bonuses) as important factors that motivated them to start engaging in online gambling. Participants also noted a link between social casino games and online gambling. Specifically, several young adults reported migrating to online gambling within a relatively short period after engaging with social casino games. Potential mechanisms that may lead to the migration from social casino games to online gambling included the role of advertisements and the inflated pay out rates on these free to play gambling like games. The results suggest initiatives to prevent the development of disordered gambling should understand the potential of social casino gaming to act as a gateway to online gambling, especially amongst this vulnerable population.

Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L. (2017). Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40405-017-0025-4

 

Exposure to Gambling Advertisements and Gambling Behavior in Young People

A cross-sectional survey of 4617 adolescents and young adults from 38 schools in two German states was conducted in 2014 to assess the association between gambling advertisements and gambling behavior. Exposure to ten gambling advertisements was measured with masked ad images; students indicated contact frequency and brand recall. Main outcomes were several gambling behaviors including probable pathological gambling assessed with the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS ≥ 5). A total of 65.4 % of the students reported gambling at least once in their life; 42.2 % gambled in the last 12 months; 6.9 % gambled in the last week, and 2.8 % reported probable pathological gambling. The average frequency that one of the selected ads had been seen at least once was 29.5 %, the average brand recall rate was 9.4 %. After adjustment for confounding, multilevel mixed-effects logistic regressions revealed that high gambling ad exposure was positively related to all assessed gambling outcomes, with the strongest association for weekly gambling. Future studies need to clarify the temporal sequence and specificity of these associations.