Gambling in Ethnic Adolescent Populations: An Exploratory Study of the Utility of Problem Behaviour Theory as an Explanatory Framework
- 275 Downloads
Problem gambling is a growing concern among adolescents today. According to recent studies, rates of problem gambling among youth are higher than those reported by adults. Though few in number, studies have also shown certain ethnic communities to be prone to gambling-related problems and related problematic behaviours. As yet, there is no conceptual model available that can guide thinking about the risk factors for, and prevention of, problem gambling among ethnic adolescents. This study aimed to provide an initial perspective on the possible utility of Problem Behaviour Theory, a well-validated model for the emergence of problem behaviours such as alcohol and cannabis use in adolescents. Problem Behaviour Theory posits that the emergence of these behaviours is influenced by three systems of psychosocial influence: the Personality System, the Perceived Environment System and the Behaviour System, in addition to demographic and socialization factors. Problem gambling among youth in various ethnic communities may have the potential to be explained by PBT, as it employs a psychosocial framework to explain adolescent involvement in behaviours socially defined as deviant or inappropriate. We conducted separate focus groups for adolescent and adult members of three ethnocultural communities: Portuguese, Tamil and Polish. Discussions began with general perceptions of the community and gambling, and were guided to the consideration of factors that are important to gambling behaviour. Discussions were taped, transcribed and coded for the presence of general themes and for comments related to specific components of the Problem Behaviour Theory conceptual framework. The results suggested that all three ethnic groups, and both adolescents and adults, viewed the determinants of behaviour, and gambling behaviours in particular, in ways that were consistent with Problem Behaviour Theory. Participants seemed to emphasize in particular the important roles of demographic (particularly religion), socialization and Perceived Environment System factors in influencing the behaviour of young people in their communities. These results suggest that Problem Behaviour Theory may provide a useful model for understanding the emergence of gambling in ethnic adolescent populations. Additionally, it may be useful to assess the validity of other conceptual frameworks using the methods used in this study.
KeywordsAdolescent Gambling Ethnic Problem behaviour theory
We express our appreciation to the participants in the focus groups described in this study. These individuals shared their valuable time with us in order to participate in this research, and their views are the central interests of this work. We also express our thanks to Gina Stoduto for her contributions to the description of Problem Behaviour Theory.
We are grateful to the following consultants for their generous and valuable comments in the development of this research: Dr. J. Derevensky, Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviours, McGill University, Canada; Dr. N. Khanloo, the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, Canada; Dr. J.E. Donovan, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh; Professor R. William, Alberta Gambling Research Institute, Canada; Professor M.D. Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University, UK; Professor C.R. Stones, Rhodes University, South Africa.
- Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Becker MH (ed) (1974) The health belief model and personal health behavior. Health Educ Monogr 2:324–473.Google Scholar
- Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (1996). Risk-taking and gambling behavior among adolescents: An empirical examination. Chicago, IL: Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Compulsive Gambling.Google Scholar
- Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (1999). Youth gambling problems: A new issue for school psychologists. Nova Scotia Psychol, 12(11), 8–11.Google Scholar
- Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (2001). Le problème de jeu touché aussi les jeunes. Psychol Que, 18(6), 23–27.Google Scholar
- Donovan, J. E. (1993). Young adult dinking-driving: Behavioural and psychosocial correlates. J Stud Alcohol, 39(5), 600–613.Google Scholar
- James, W. H., Kim, G. K., & Moore, D. D. (1997). Examining racial and ethnic differences in asian adolescent drug use: The contributions of culture, background, and lifestyle. Drugs Educ Prev Policy, 4(1), 39–51.Google Scholar
- Jessor, R. (1987). Risky driving and adolescent problem behaviour: An extension of problem behaviour theory. Alcohol Drugs Driving, 3(3–4), 1–11.Google Scholar
- Jessor, S. L., & Jessor, R. (1977). Problem Behaviour Theory and Psychosocial Development: longitudinal study of youth. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Jessor, S. L., & Jessor, R. (1978). Theory testing in longitudinal research on marijuana use. In D. B. Kandel (Ed.), Longitudinal research on drug use. Washington DC: Hemisphere (Halsted-Wiley).Google Scholar
- Kaufman F, Derevensky J, Gupta R (2002). The relationship between life stresses, coping styles and gambling behavior among adolescents. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Problem Gambling, Dallas, TX.Google Scholar
- Klepp, K., & Perry, C. L. (1990). Adolescents, drinking, and driving: who does it and why? In R. J. Wilcon & R. Mann (Eds.), Drinking and driving: Advances in research and prevention (pp. 42–67). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kusyszyn, I. (1972). Studies on the psychology of gambling. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Marget, N., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. (1999). August). Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA: The psychosocial factors underlying adolescent problem gambling.Google Scholar
- Martella A, Zangeneh M (2004). The development of culturally-appropriate service models for addressing gambling issues in Ethno-cultural communities. COSTI Immigrant Services.Google Scholar
- McCready, J., Mann, R. E., Zhao, J., & Calla, M. (2007). Gambling and Ethnicity: Sociodemographic and Mental Health Factors Associated with Problem Gambling in Members of Ethno-cultural Groups in Ontario. Guelph, ON: Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre.Google Scholar
- Morgan, D. L. (1988). Focus Groups as Qualitative Research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- National Council on Welfare. (1996). Gambling in Canada: Report prepared the National Council of Welfare. ON: Ottawa.Google Scholar
- National Research Council (NRC). (1999). Pathological Gambling: A Critical Review. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Nunnally, J. C. (1979). Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- O’Hara, T., & Tran, T. V. (2002). Substance Abuse Among Southeast Asians in the US: Implications for Practice and Research. In G. Xuegin Ma & G. Henderson (Eds.), Ethnicity and Substance Abuse: Prevention and Intervention (pp. 145–155). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.Google Scholar
- Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Rachal, J. V., Williams, J. R., Brehm, M. L., Cavanaugh, B., Moore, R. P., & Eckerman, W. C. (1975). A national Study of adolescent drinking behaviour, attitudes, and correlates, final report. Springfield, VA: National Technical Information Service.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2003). Ethnic Diversity Survey: Portrait of a Multicultural Society (Catalogue no. 89-593-XIE). Ottawa: Minister of Industry.Google Scholar
- Wynne, H., Smith, G., & Jacobs, D. (1996). Adolescent gambling and problem gambling in Alberta. Edmonton, AB: Report prepared for the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.Google Scholar
- Zangeneh M, Sadeghi N, Sharp N (2004a). Iranians living in Toronto: Attitudes and practices of gambling and help-seeking behavior, a preliminary study about Iranian refugees and immigrants in Toronto. Shiraz E-Medical Journal, 5 (1), from http://semj.sums.ac.ir.
- Zangeneh M, Nouroozifar M, Kantini E (2004b). Acculturation stress and drug use Among Iranian Youth. Shiraz E-Medical Journal, 5(3), from http://semj.sums.ac.ir.