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Gambling Behavior of Juvenile Offenders in Louisiana

  • James R. Westphal
  • Lera J. Johnson
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to determine the (1) frequency of and (2) types of prearrest gambling (3) prevalence of pathological gambling and (4) the associations of after school activities and gambling related symptoms among juvenile offenders in Louisiana, compared to a contemporaneous school sample. A gambling survey was administered to 343 (jail) and 1293 (prison) offenders, ages 10–19 and compared to random sample of 12,036 Louisiana students in sixth through twelfth grades. Results showed that juvenile offenders gambled more frequently than the school sample on every gambling activity. Juvenile offenders (20.5%) were more likely to be classified as pathological gamblers than students (3.9%). Thirteen per cent of the juvenile justice sample identified their arrest as gambling related. Pathological gamblers were twice as likely to have had a gambling-related arrest. Pathological gambling may pose a risk factor for incarceration in the juvenile age group. After school activities, including church, employment, and athletics were risk factors for gambling related symptoms in both populations.

Keywords

Adolescent Gambling Crime Risk and protective factors Pathological gambling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Our appreciation is extended to the Louisiana Juvenile Detention Centers and Technical Institutes for their support and participation and Drs. Jill Rush and Lee Stevens for their participation in the organization and execution of this study.

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© Springer Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of Hawaii–Manoa, Hawaii State HospitalKaneoheUSA
  2. 2.Columbus Organization at the Arlington Developmental CenterMemphisUSA

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