Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 1449–1461 | Cite as

Reciprocal Longitudinal Associations Between Adolescent Twin Gambling and Delinquency

  • Frank Vitaro
  • Amy C. Hartl
  • Brett Laursen
  • Mara Brendgen
  • Ginette Dionne
  • Michel Boivin
Original Paper


This study examined sibling influence over gambling involvement and delinquency in a sample of 628 twins (151 male dyads, 163 female dyads). Self-reports of gambling involvement and delinquency were collected for each twin at ages 13, 14 and 15 years. Results revealed evidence of between-twin influence. Higher levels of an adolescent’s delinquency predicted an increase in his or her co-twin’s delinquency from age 13 to age 14 and from age 14 to age 15. In contrast, gambling behavior was unaffected by the co-twin’s gambling involvement. Within-twins, higher initial levels of delinquency predicted a subsequent increase in gambling behavior from age 13 to age 14 and again from age 14 to age 15, and higher initial levels of gambling involvement predicted an increase in delinquency from age 14 to age 15. Between and within siblings effects are discussed in light of the scant literature on (a) sibling influence on gambling, and (b) the links between gambling and delinquency.


Twins Sibling influence Gambling Delinquency Adolescents Actor-partner interdependence model 



Funding for this study was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec. We thank Jocelyn Malo and Marie-Elyse Bertrand for coordinating the data collection and Hélène Paradis for data management and preparation. We also thank the twins and their families as well as their friends for participating in this study. Brett Laursen received support from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD068421) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (0909733).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Vitaro
    • 1
  • Amy C. Hartl
    • 2
  • Brett Laursen
    • 2
  • Mara Brendgen
    • 3
  • Ginette Dionne
    • 4
  • Michel Boivin
    • 4
  1. 1.University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  3. 3.University of QuebecMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Laval UniversityQuebec CityCanada

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