Doing It for the Money: The Relationship Between Gambling and Money Attitudes Among College Students

  • Ty W. LostutterEmail author
  • Matthew Enkema
  • Frank Schwebel
  • Jessica M. Cronce
  • Lisa A. Garberson
  • Bobby Ou
  • Melissa A. Lewis
  • Mary E. Larimer
Original Paper


Today’s college students have grown up with legalized gambling and access to a variety of gambling venues. Compared to the general adult population, rates of disordered gambling among college students are nearly double. Previous research suggests that the desire to win money is a strong motivator to gamble (Neighbors et al. in J Gambl Stud 18:361–370, 2002a); however, there is a dearth of literature on attitudes towards money in relation to gambling behavior. The current study evaluated the association between the four subscales of the Money Attitude Scale (Yamauchi and Templer in J Pers Assess 46:522–528, 1982) and four gambling outcomes (frequency, quantity, consequences and problem severity) in a sample of college students (ages 18–25; N = 2534) using hurdle negative binomial regression model analyses. Results suggest that college students who hold high PowerPrestige or Anxiety attitudes toward money were more likely to gamble and experience greater consequences related to their gambling. Distrust attitudes were negatively associated with gambling behaviors. Retention-Time attitudes were not significantly associated with gambling behaviors and may not be directly relevant to college students, given their often limited fiscal circumstances. These findings suggest that money attitudes may be potential targets for prevention programs in this population.


Gambling Money Attitudes College students 



This research was supported in part by Grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse F31DA023634 awarded to Ty W. Lostutter, and joint funding received from Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling and Washington State’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Manuscript preparation was also support by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant T32AA007455-27 awarded to Mary E. Larimer, National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant F31DA042503 award to Matthew Enkema; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grants F31AA02553 and K01AA016966 awarded to Frank Schwebel and Melissa A. Lewis, respectively. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of any of the funding agencies.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflict of interest to report.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB)University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services, Family and Human Services Program, College of EducationUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Medicine, WWAMI Rural Health Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems, School of Public HealthUniversity of North TexasFort WorthUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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