Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 119–133 | Cite as

The Prevalence of Problem Gambling Among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults: Results from a National Survey

  • John W. WelteEmail author
  • Grace M. Barnes
  • Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell
  • Joseph H. Hoffman
Original Paper


A random telephone survey was conducted with a representative sample of 2,274 U.S. residents aged 14–21. The prevalence of problem gambling, as measured by the SOGS-RA, was 2.1%. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the respondents had gambled in the past year, and 11% had gambled more often than twice per week. Males had much higher gambling involvement than females, and gambling involvement increased among older respondents. Blacks were less likely than average to have gambled in the past year, but if they gambled, they were more likely to do so frequently. Low SES respondents were less likely to have gambled in the past year, but if they gambled, they were more likely to be problem gamblers. Life transitions that are associated with assuming adult roles (employment, living independently of parents, non-student status) are also associated with greater gambling involvement. The rates of problem and pathological gambling were lower than those in an adult survey conducted earlier, when measured with the same questionnaire.


Youth gambling National survey Youth problem gamblers 



This Research was funded by grant R01 MH 063761 to John W. Welte from the National Institute of Mental Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Welte
    • 1
    Email author
  • Grace M. Barnes
    • 1
  • Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell
    • 1
  • Joseph H. Hoffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute on AddictionsUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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