Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 1431–1447 | Cite as

At-Risk/Problematic Shopping and Gambling in Adolescence

  • Sarah W. Yip
  • Songli Mei
  • Corey E. Pilver
  • Marvin A. Steinberg
  • Loreen J. Rugle
  • Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin
  • Rani A. Hoff
  • Marc N. Potenza
Original Paper


Elevated levels of both pathological gambling (PG) and problem shopping (PS) have been reported among adolescents, and each is associated with a range of other negative health/functioning measures. However, relationships between PS and PG, particularly during adolescence, are not well understood. In this study, we explored the relationship between different levels of problem-gambling severity and health/functioning characteristics, gambling-related social experiences, gambling behaviors and motivations among adolescents with and without at-risk/problematic shopping (ARPS). Survey data from Connecticut high school students (n = 2,100) were analyzed using bivariate analyses and logistic regression modeling. Although at-risk/problematic gambling (ARPG) was not increased among adolescents with ARPS, adolescents with ARPG (vs non-gamblers) were more likely to report having experienced a growing tension or anxiety that could only be relieved by shopping and missing other obligations due to shopping. In comparison to the non-ARPS group, a smaller proportion of respondents in the ARPS group reported paid part-time employment, whereas a greater proportion of respondents reported excessive gambling by peers and feeling concerned over the gambling of a close family member. In general, similar associations between problem-gambling severity and measures of health/functioning and gambling-related behaviors and motivations were observed across ARPS and non-ARPS adolescents. However, associations were weaker among ARPS adolescents for several variables: engagement in extracurricular activities, alcohol and caffeine use and gambling for financial reasons. These findings suggest a complex relationship between problem-gambling severity and ARPS. They highlight the importance of considering co-occurring risk behaviors such as ARPS when treating adolescents with at-risk/problem gambling.


Pathological gambling Problem shopping Adolescence Development Behavioral addictions Substance use 



This work was supported in part by the NIH (R01 DA019039, RL1 AA017539, R01 DA018647), the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, The Connection, an unrestricted research gift from the Mohegan Sun casino, and the Yale Gambling Center of Research Excellence Award grant from the National Center for Responsible Gaming. SWY receives support from T32 DA007238-23 and CEP receives support from T32 MH 14235. The funding agencies did not provide input or comment on the content of the manuscript, and the content of the manuscript reflects the contributions and thoughts of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no financial conflicts of interest with respect to the content of this manuscript. Dr. Potenza has received financial support or compensation for the following: Dr. Potenza has consulted for and advised Boehringer Ingelheim, Lundbeck, Ironwood and Shire; has consulted for and has financial interests in Somaxon; has received research support from the National Institutes of Health, Veteran’s Administration, Mohegan Sun Casino, the National Center for Responsible Gaming and its affiliated Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders, and Forest Laboratories, Ortho-McNeil, Oy-Control/Biotie, Glaxo-SmithKline, and Psyadon pharmaceuticals; has participated in surveys, mailings or telephone consultations related to drug addiction, impulse control disorders or other health topics; has consulted for gambling entities, law offices and the federal public defender’s office in issues related to impulse control disorders; provides clinical care in the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Problem Gambling Services Program; has performed grant reviews for the National Institutes of Health and other agencies; has guest-edited journal sections; has given academic lectures in grand rounds, CME events and other clinical or scientific venues; and has generated books or book chapters for publishers of mental health texts.

Supplementary material

10899_2014_9494_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah W. Yip
    • 1
  • Songli Mei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Corey E. Pilver
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marvin A. Steinberg
    • 4
  • Loreen J. Rugle
    • 5
  • Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin
    • 1
  • Rani A. Hoff
    • 1
    • 6
  • Marc N. Potenza
    • 1
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of Public HealthJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Connecticut Council on Problem GamblingGuilfordUSA
  5. 5.Problem Gambling ServicesMiddletownUSA
  6. 6.VA CT Healthcare SystemWest HavenUSA
  7. 7.Department of NeurobiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  8. 8.Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  9. 9.Connecticut Mental Health CenterNew HavenUSA

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