Is Speeding a Form of Gambling in Adolescents?
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Speeding is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents, which are the leading cause of death in adolescents. This study compares the extent to which adolescents with gambling behavior and substance use reported driving over the posted speed limits (“speeding”). Florida adolescents ages 13–17 (n = 1051) were surveyed, and asked about gambling activities, problems related to gambling, substance use, demographic questions, and speeding. Of the 562 respondents who were drivers, the gender distribution was 52.1% male and 47.9% female. Of those respondents, 76.9% were Caucasian, 6.8% were African American, 10.1% were Hispanic, and 6.1% were Native American/Asian/Other. Simple correlation analysis revealed that self-reported speeding is significantly related to gambling behavior and substance use. When a linear regression model was used, four factors showed the most significant influence on self-reported speeding: past year gambling tendency, age, trouble with the police due to drinking, and tranquilizer usage. Gambling behavior and high-risk speeding (driving ≥ 10 mph over speed limit) also were noted to be positively correlated. Our data indicate a relationship between risky driving, gambling, and other risk-taking behaviors in adolescents, and support the hypothesis that speeding may be a form of gambling behavior in this age group.
KeywordsAdolescent Gambling Speeding Substances Risk-taking
Research completed under contract with the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. This work was presented in part at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting on October 25, 2002 in San Francisco and at the Society of Neuroscience Annual Meeting on November 10, 2003 in New Orleans.
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