, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 189-204
Date: 07 Jan 2010

Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling, Related Harms and Help-Seeking Behaviours Among an Australian Population

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Abstract

Epidemiological studies have consistently reported prevalence rates ranging between 0.9 and 23.5% for problem gambling among young people. With such a large range reported in the literature, it is clear that more research in this area would be of value. The current study investigated the prevalence rate of adolescent gambling and problem gambling and explored types of harm-related and help-seeking behaviours associated with gambling specific to this population in an Australian setting. A self-administered battery of questionnaires was distributed to 252 students aged 12–18 years, attending four private schools in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The battery included a self-administered socio-gambling demographic questionnaire, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition Multiple Response Juvenile (DSM-IV-MR-J) diagnostic instrument to assess problem gambling status, the Gambling Attitudes Scale, and questionnaires using a Likert scale to measure gambling-related harms and help-seeking behaviours. The prevalence rate among this group was found to be 6.7%. The study found further support for previous findings suggesting that a significant proportion of young people meet criteria for problem gambling, that males are at-risk and that few adolescents are able to recognise when gambling is problematic or access mental health professionals for assistance.