Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 49–66 | Cite as

A developmental perspective of gambling behavior in children and adolescents

  • Jeffrey L. Derevensky
  • Rina Gupta
  • Giuseppe Della Cioppa


Although it has been determined that gambling is a popular activity amongst the young, there seems to be a lack of studies examining developmental differences in children's gambling behavior. This study examines developmental differences in children's blackjack gambling behavior. One hundred and four students (51 males; 53 females) from grades 4, 6, and 8 completed a questionnaire examining their gambling behavior in general and individually played a computerized blackjack game with the following data being recorded: percentage of accuracy, amounts of money bet, gross winnings, percentage of wins, number of hands played, and end balance. Findings revealed few developmental differences in prevalence and frequency of gambling behavior and performance on a blackjack task. Males were found to wager greater amounts of money and have larger gross winnings than females on the blackjack task. Furthermore, males were more likely to view gambling as involving both large amounts of skill and luck, thus suggesting an illusion of control for gambling activities. The results are discussed from a cognitive developmental perspective.


Gambling Behavior Developmental Difference Developmental Perspective Gambling Activity Popular Activity 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey L. Derevensky
    • 1
  • Rina Gupta
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Della Cioppa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational & Counseling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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