Article

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 53-78

Problem Gambling Among Adolescent Students in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada

  • Christiane PoulinAffiliated withDepartment of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University

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Abstract

The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of problem gambling among adolescent students in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, and to determine the role of age and deception about legal age status as potential risk factors for problem gambling. In 1998, a total of 13,549 students in grades 7, 9, 10 and 12 in the public school systems of the four Atlantic provinces completed a self-reported anonymous questionnaire that included the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents. About 8.2% and 6.4% of adolescent students met the broad definition of at-risk and problem gambling, respectively. About 3.8% and 2.2% of adolescent students met the narrow definition of at-risk and problem gambling, respectively. The prevalence of problem gambling did not vary according to age. Using a fake identification or lying about one's age was found to be an independent risk factor for problem gambling. Playing video gambling machines was the gambling activity associated with the single greatest independent risk of using a fake identification or lying about one's age. It was concluded that deception about legal age status may be a facilitating factor permitting adolescents to gamble to the point of experiencing problems.

Problem gambling adolescent legal age prevalence measurement