Relationship Between Gambling Severity and Attitudes in Adolescents: Findings from a Population-Based Study
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This study used a nationally representative sample of 14,910 high school adolescents, aged 15–19 years. The large sample size presents a unique opportunity to evaluate firstly the geographical distribution of gambling prevalence, secondly, on a subsample of 5,920 adolescents, we studied the association of “no-problem-gambling”, “at-risk gambling” and a relatively rare condition, “problem gambling”, with demographic, environmental and behavioral variables. It differs from other studies due to the broad sample, thus enabling the combined analysis of the above variables that typically have only been studied separately. This integrated analysis, involving multiple variables, individual and environmental, allows the control of important covariates. Multivariate analysis showed that at-risk/problem gamblers were more likely to be engaged in behaviors contrary to social rules/law including heavy episodic drinking, tranquillizer/sedatives use as well as to approve gambling and have friends who gamble. It’s important to emphasize that risk-perception is not related to gambling. Furthermore, the great geographical variability of at-risk and problem-gambling rates suggest that social aspects have to be considered. Currently universal prevention specifically targeting gambling is lacking, thus an associative model such as social analysis have been implemented in this study, in order to construct the basis for the design of a future prevention program based on scientific results and thus having important implications for implementation within community based activities. Prevention is fundamental: 53.5 % of underage individuals have engaged in gambling even though legislation attempts to restrict access.
KeywordsGambling adolescent Gambling attitudes Gambling severity Multivariate analyses SOGS-RA
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