Adolescent Gambling Behaviour and Attitudes: A Prevalence Study and Correlates in an Australian Population

  • Alun C. Jackson
  • Nicki Dowling
  • Shane A. Thomas
  • Lyndal Bond
  • George Patton


There is considerable evidence that a range of risk factors are associated with adolescent problem gambling. Using a representative sample of 2,788 eighth grade students in Victoria, Australia, the primary aim of this study was to examine the degree to which these risk factors are associated with different levels of adolescent gambling participation, rather than gambling at problematic levels. This study also aimed to obtain prevalence estimates of adolescent gambling and examine the gambling attitudes of adolescents. It was found that there were significant associations between different levels of gambling involvement and a range of risk factors. However, when all predictor variables were considered simultaneously in the prediction of higher involvement in gambling activities, only male gender, drinking alcohol, using marijuana, and few perceived rewards at school were statistically significant predictors. For males, the most important predictors for greater gambling involvement were other antisocial and risk-taking behaviours. In contrast, dissatisfaction with peers and school connectedness was important in predicting greater gambling involvement for females. The study shows the usefulness of a risk and protective factor approach to understanding gambling participation in an adolescent population and that there is much to be gained from understanding the nuances of gendered gambling behaviour in the context of studying gambling participation and attitudes rather than simply in the context of studying disordered or problematic gambling.


Youth gambling Problem gambling Risk and protective factors Attitudes to gambling 



This study was commissioned by the Victorian Department of Human Services and funded through the Community Support Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alun C. Jackson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicki Dowling
    • 1
  • Shane A. Thomas
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Lyndal Bond
    • 7
  • George Patton
    • 8
  1. 1.Problem Gambling Research and Treatment CentreUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Peking UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Problem Gambling Research and Treatment CentreMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  5. 5.School of Primary Health, Faculty of MedicineMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  6. 6.Health SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Adolescent and Social Environments Program, Centre for Adolescent HealthRoyal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children’s Research InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  8. 8.Adolescent Health Research, Centre for Adolescent HealthRoyal Children’s Hospital and Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteMelbourneAustralia

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