Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 503–520 | Cite as

Family Influences on Adolescent Gambling Behavior: A Review of the Literature

  • Jennifer L. McComb
  • Catherine M. Sabiston
Review Paper


Gambling, and gambling related problems, are recognized as an emerging health issue among adolescents. Adolescent gambling is associated with numerous individual, social, and family characteristics. This paper provides a review of 21 empirical studies published between 1997 and 2008 that examine family influences on adolescent gambling behavior. Family influences on gambling behavior are conceptualized in the following five domains: (1) family sociodemographic factors, (2) general family climate, (3) family members’ attitudes and behaviors, (4) parenting practices, and (5) family relationship characteristics. Based on the review of extant literature, there is empirical evidence that family characteristics are associated with adolescent gambling and further examination of family system influences on gambling behavior is needed. Gaps in the current literature and recommendations for future research are discussed to help inform the study of family influences on adolescent gambling behavior.


Adolescent gambling Families Gambling Adolescents Literature review 



This project was made possible by a Doctoral Fellowship to the first author from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy ProgramPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology and Physical EducationMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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