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The Fall, 2000 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies is devoted in its entirety to youth gambling issues. Some of the articles included in this special issue are cited below.
Incidence and Comparative Study of Compulsive Gambling Behaviors Between American Indian and Non-Indians Within and Near a Northern Plains Reservation. Darryl Zitzow. Indian Health Service, Bemidji, Minnesota Area Office, Oct. 30, 1992. This report is the result of three separate studies comparing gambling behaviors of American Indians to non-Indians. The studies included an adolescent school survey (ages 12-19), a random phone survey of adults (ages 20-86) and a systematic sampling of active adult gamblers at various gambling sites. The adolescent survey indicated higher rates of problematic gambling characteristics (14.8 percent) and pathological gambling characteristics (9.6 percent) for American Indian adolescents than the non-Indian rates of 10.5 percent and 5.6 percent respectively. The phone survey showed no significant differences overall between American Indian and non-Indian adults in regard to pathological gambling. However, the active gambling adult survey did show significantly higher rates of problematic (2.8 percent vs. 1.6 percent) and pathological gambling behaviors (9.1 percent vs. 4.6 percent) for American Indian adults than non-Indian adults.
Patterns and Characteristics of Adolescent Gambling. Ken Winters, Randy Stinchfield, J. Fulkerson. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol 9, p371-386, 1993. This survey was conducted on 1,094 Minnesota youth (ages 15-18), a few months prior to the Minnesota Lottery start-up. The survey showed that abstinence from gambling is rare among Minnesota teenagers; nearly 90 percent have gambled at least once in their lifetime. By combining frequency of gambling and the presence of problem gambling signs and symptoms, three distinct groups were identified: Problem gamblers (6.3 percent of those surveyed), At-risk gamblers (19.9 percent) and No-problem gamblers (73.9 percent). Characteristics and psychosocial factors of the problem gamblers were identified.
Toward the Development of an Adolescent Gambling Problem Severity Scale. Ken Winters, Randy Stinchfield and Jayne Fulkerson. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 9(1), p63-84, Spring 1993. This study describes the development and initial psychometric properties of an adolescent gambling problem severity measure adapted from a well-known adult measure, the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) (Lesieur & Blume, 1987). More than 1,100 older teenagers (ages 15 to 18) participated in this state-wide gambling survey. The study presents initial psychometric evidence for the SOGS-RA as a recent measure of gambling problem severity for older male adolescents.
The Pull of the Fruit Machine: A Sociological Typology of Young Players. Sue Fisher. The Editorial Board of the Sociological Review, p446-475, 1993. A study of why young people gamble on the "fruit machines," in the United Kingdom, where slot machines are legally available to children at arcades, cafes, fish and chip shops and (illegally) at pubs. The only restrictions are voluntary codes at certain premises prohibiting access to those under sixteen. Children and young people account for approximately 25 percent of all new members of Gamblers Anonymous in the United Kingdom. Primary reasons for gambling include: ego enhancement, solving the technical problems presented by the machine, action, opportunity for gender exploration and temporary escape.
Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Adolescent Pathological Gamblers. Robert Ladouceur, Jean-Marie Boisvert, Jilda Dumont. Behavior Modification (19:2, 230-242) April 1994. This article presents the results of a cognitive-behavioral treatment regimen for four male pathological gamblers between the ages of 17 and 19. Treatment emphasized correction of erroneous beliefs concerning gambling and randomness, followed by problem-solving training and social skills training. All four subjects reported clinically significant improvement in both their perception of control over gambling and the severity of their problems for six months following treatment.
Prevalence of Pathological Gambling and Related Problems Among College Students in the Quebec Metropolitan Area. Robert Ladouceur, Dominique Dubé and Annie Bujold. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 39(5),p1-5, June 1994. The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) was used to determine the prevalence of pathological gambling among 1,471 Quebec college students. This study found an overall prevalence rate of 2.8 percent, with the percentage of pathological gamblers higher among males (5.7 percent) than females (0.6 percent). Addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, and eating disorders were found to be related to problem gambling.
Estimating the Prevalence of Adolescent Gambling Disorders: A Quantitative Synthesis and Guide Toward Standard Gambling Nomenclature. Howard J. Shaffer and Matthew N. Hall. Division on Addictions, Harvard Medical School. July 22, 1994. This articles reviews nine studies conducted on adolescent gambling. Through comparison of the conceptual and methodological differences in the studies, this article used a meta-analytic approach to summarize prevalence estimates. This analysis revealed that between 9.9 percent and 14.2 percent of adolescents are at risk of developing or returning to serious gambling problems. Similarly, between 4.4 percent and 7.4 percent of adolescents exhibit seriously adverse compulsive or pathological patterns of gambling activity.
Pathological Gambling Among Adolescents: Massachusetts Gambling Screen (MAGS). Howard J. Shaffer, Richard LaBrie, Kathleen M. Scanlan and Thomas N. Cummings. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 10(4), p339-362, Winter 1994. This article describes the Massachusetts Gambling Screen (MAGS), which was developed to gauge non-pathological and pathological gambling during a 5-to 10-minute survey and to document the first psychometric translation of DSM-IV pathological gambling criteria into a set of survey questions. More than 850 Boston suburban high school students were surveyed. The sample was not randomly selected and was predominantly (95-97 percent) white. The survey showed that the prevalence of gambling related social and emotional problems was significantly greater for adolescent males than for females.
Gambling Among Primary School Students. Robert Ladouceur, Dominique Dubé, Annie Bujold. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 10(4), p363-370, Winter 1994. This study identifies the gambling behavior of Quebec youth. Some 1,320 French-speaking children from the 4th, 5th and 6th grades were surveyed to measure gambling participation. The results of the survey showed that 86 percent had wagered at one time or another and that 61 percent gamble with lotteries. Other forms of gambling were: bingo (55.5 percent), playing cards for money (53.3 percent), sports betting (47.9 percent), betting on specific events (32.3 percent), video games (28.6 percent), and games of skill (10.7 percent).
Final Report. North American Think Tank on Youth Gambling Issues: A Blueprint for Responsible Public Policy in the Management of Compulsive Gambling. Howard J. Shaffer, Elizabeth M. George and Thomas Cummings. Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Report (02.004), July, 1995. This report summarizes the recommendations developed by key leaders from throughout the United States and Canada in response to youth gambling issues.
Monitoring Adolescent Gambling in Minnesota. Ken Winters, Randy Stinchfield and L. Kim. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 11(2), p165-183, Summer, 1995. Pre-Lottery and post-Lottery gambling behavior is compared in a prospective sample of 532 Minnesota youths. No statistically significant changes were seen in total gambling frequency, rate of "regular" (weekly or daily) gambling, and rate of potential pathological gambling. Certain gambling activities, notably lottery play and slot machines, increased substantially over the period. However, these increases were offset by decreases in other activities, notably informal and unregulated games such as sports betting. 28 percent of underage youths who play lottery games, or charitable pull tabs or the Lottery purchase these games themselves, while 73 percent use parents to access them.
1995 College Gambling Survey: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Moorhead State University. Ken C. Winters, Phyllis L. Bengtson, Randy Stinchfield and Derek Dorr. Minnesota Department of Human Services, April, 1996. The study was conducted to assess the relationship between gambling and drug use among college students. The variables most highly correlated with total gambling frequency for all three campuses were gender, licit (alcohol and tobacco) drug use, disposable income, illicit drug use and having parent(s) with a gambling problem.
Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Georgia Adolescents. Rachel A. Volberg. Georgia Department of Human Services, June 25, 1996. More than 1,000 Georgia adolescents aged 13 to 17 were interviewed to assess gambling and problem gambling among Georgia youth. The study found that the proportion of Georgia adolescents who gamble was lower than among Georgia adults or among adolescents in other states. Adolescent gamblers were most likely to be older, male and have weekly incomes of $50 or more. Males, regular users of alcohol and drugs, and those whose parents gamble were most likely to experience gambling difficulties. Seventy percent of the adolescent problem gamblers have felt nervous about their gambling, 45 percent believed they have a gambling problem and 14 percent have desired or sought treatment for a gambling problem, suggesting a minimum of 1,200 adolescents who would access services if available.
Gambling in Texas: 1995 Survey of Adult and Adolescent Gambling Behavior. Lynn S. Wallisch. Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, July, 1996. This study is a comparison of the 1992 and 1995 surveys on gambling behaviors. In 1995, 3 percent of adults in Texas were deemed problem or pathological gamblers as defined by SOGS. This is a slight increase over the 2.5 percent found in 1992. For adolescents, rates of problem gambling declined from 5 percent in 1992 to 2.3 percent in 1995. Additionally, the survey concluded that the introduction of the Texas State Lottery has had little effect on other forms of gambling. Lottery play has been added to prior gambling participation, rather than displacing other gambling activity.
Estimating the Prevalence of Adolescent Gambling Disorders: A Quantitative Synthesis and Guide Toward Standard Gambling Nomenclature. Howard J. Shaffer and Matthew N. Hall. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 12(2), p 193-214, Summer 1996. This article discusses the variations in terminology and classifications used in past surveys of adolescent gambling that make comparisons of prevalence rates difficult. Shaffer and Hall suggest a 5-level generic rating system (ranging from "Level 0: Non Gambling" to" Level 4: Impaired Gambler who Displays Willingness to Enter Treatment") for use in future studies. They contend that as the consistency and clarity of gambling screens improve, researchers will be better able to identify those in need of intervention.
Familial and Social Influences on Juvenile Gambling Behavior. Rina Gupta & Jeffrey Derevensky. National Conference on Compulsive Gambling, Chicago, Illinois. McGill University, Montreal. September 1996. A brief questionnaire was given to 477 Montreal students, aged 9 to 14, regarding their gambling activities. Eighty-one percent of students reported they had gambled, with 52 percent reporting weekly gambling activities. Gambling behavior increased significantly from 69 percent of fourth graders having gambled to 85 percent for sixth graders and 84 percent for eighth graders. Gambling at home was constant across grade levels, while gambling at friends’ houses and at school increased with age. The paper associates the high levels of gambling among youth with society’s acceptance of gambling and parental/communal influence. It also suggests that greater public awareness and education is needed on the potential problems analogous to juvenile gambling given the small, but increasing number of children having problems with gambling.
Gambling Behavior of Adolescent Gamblers. Richard Govoni, Nicholas Rupcich and G. Ron Frisch. Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 12(3), p305-317, Fall 1996. An adolescent version of the SOGS (SOGS-RA) was given to 965 high school students, aged 14 to 19 years, in Windsor, Ontario. Problem gambling levels were found in 8.1 percent of the sample. Males showed significantly higher rates of both problem gambling and at-risk gambling behavior. Adolescents reporting excessive parental gambling were twice as likely to have problem or at-risk gambling rates.
The Relationship Between Gambling and Video-Game Playing Behavior in Children and Adolescents. Rina Gupta, Jeffrey L. Derevensky. Journal of Gambling Studies 12(4), 375-394, Winter 1996. Gupta and Derevensky surveyed 104 children aged 9 to 14 about video-game playing and gambling behavior. They found that frequent video game players were also more frequent gamblers than low-frequency video game players and were more likely to exhibit risk-taking tendencies. Differences were most pronounced for girls.
Prevalence of Gambling Among Minnesota Public School Students in 1992 and 1995. Randy Stinchfield, Nadav Cassuto, Ken Winters and William Latimer, Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 13(1), p25-48, Spring, 1997. A study of 122,700 Minnesota 6th, 9th, and 12th graders found that males gamble more often than females while 9th and 12th grade students gamble more often than 6th grade students. The most frequently played game by 6th grade boys is betting on sports teams, whereas 9th and 12th grade boys most often play cards. Although girls do not play any game very frequently, the game played most often by girls in all three grades is scratch tabs. The majority of students did not play any game on a weekly/daily rate and did not report any problems associated with gambling. From a statistical standpoint, it may be considered in the abnormal range for girls to play two or more games at a weekly/daily rate, and for boys to play four or more games at a weekly/daily rate. A stepwise, multiple regression indicated that antisocial behavior, being male, and alcohol use were related to more frequent gambling.
Prevalence Estimates of Adolescent Gambling: A Comparison of the SOGS-RA, DSM-IV-J, and the G. A. 20 Questions. Jeffrey L. Derevensky & Rina Gupta. 10th International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking, Montreal. McGill University, Montreal, June, 1997. The gambling behaviors of 980 adolescents were examined using three measures, the SOGS-RA, DSM-IV-J, and the Gamblers Anonymous 20 (G. A. 20) Questions. The DSM-IV-J was found to be the most conservative measure identifying 3.4 percent of the population as problem/pathological gamblers while the SOGS-RA identified 5.3 percent and the G. A. 20 Questions identified six percent of adolescents as experiencing a serious gambling-related problem. Males continue to engage in gambling activities to a greater degree than females, and all three measures found more males exhibiting gambling related problems than females.
Gambling Activities of Young Australians: Developing a model of behavior. Susan Moore & Keis Ohtsuka. Victoria University, Australia. June, 1997. A survey of 1017 students (ages 14-25) was taken to ascertain their gambling attitudes and behaviors. The study results showed gambling to be an acceptable and frequent activity among Australian youth. Problem gambling was assessed as statistically rare at three percent. Gambling behaviors were found to be easily predicted by a rational decision-making model, although personality traits and emotions affect the prediction. In closing, this paper suggests that gambling is a moral and policy dilemma for societies, very similar to smoking and drinking.
Adolescent Gambling in Oregon: A report to the Oregon Gambling Addiction Treatment Foundation. Matthew J. Carlson & Thomas L. Moore. Salem: Oregon Gambling Addiction Treatment Foundation. December 1, 1998. This survey of 1,000 Oregon adolescents found that two-thirds had gambled for money in the past year. The rate of problem gambling was estimated at 4.1 percent, slightly lower than the rates found in other states studied with similar techniques. The report recommends increased prevention efforts targeted at grade and middle school aged children.
Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Adolescents in Washington State: A Replication Study, 1993 to 1999. Rachel A. Volberg and W. Lamar Moore. Gemini Research, Northampton, MA. June 25, 1999. This survey of 1,000 Washington residents between the ages of 13 and 17 found that problem and pathological gambling rates remained stable from an earlier survey taken six years before. The study also found a correlation between adolescent gambling and the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
Adolescent Gambling Behavior: A Prevalence Study and Examination of the Correlates Associated with Problem Gambling. Rina Gupta and Jeffrey L. Derevensky. Journal of Gambling Studies 14(4), Winter 1998. 319-345. The authors conducted a survey of 817 high school students in the Montreal area, finding that 80 percent had gambled during the previous year with 4.7 percent meeting the DSM-IV-J criteria for pathological gambling. The pathological gamblers were found to have significantly higher rates of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use than the non-pathological gamblers. The problem and pathological gamblers were also more likely to report escape, relieving depression, relaxation, and coping with loneliness as reasons for gambling. They were more likely to have parents who gamble excessively and more likely to report that gambling made them feel important.
Beliefs About Control Over Gambling Among Young People, and Their Relation to Problem Gambling. Susan M. Moore, Keis Ohtsuka. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (1999), 13(4), pages 339-347. According to this survey of over 1,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 25, problem gambling is strongly associated with several irrational control beliefs. These include a belief in their ability to control the outcome, a belief in being able to beat the system, and a belief in gambling as a way to make money.
Gambling Behavior of Louisiana Students in Grades 6 Through 12. James R. Westphal, Jill A. Rush, Lee Stevens, and Lera Joyce Johnson. Psychiatric Services (51:1, 96-99), January 2000. The article reports the results of a survey of over 12,000 Louisiana students, finding that 14 percent have never gambled, 70 percent gambled without problems, 10 percent indicated past year problem gambling, and 5.8 percent indicated past year pathological gambling as measured by the SOGS-RA. High levels of association were found with other risk behaviors, notably alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs. 59 percent of those with problem or pathological gambling reported frequent alcohol and/or illicit drug use. Higher levels of problem and pathological gambling were found in males and ethnic minorities.
Risk Factors in Adolescence: The Case of Gambling, Videogame Playing, and the Internet. Mark Griffiths and Richard T. A. Wood. Journal of Gambling Studies. 16:2/3, 199-225 Fall 2000. The authors summarize what is known about risk factors for adolescent problem gambling and compare them to excessive videogame play (which has many similarities) and excessive internet use. They point out that "the technologies involved in gambling, videogame playing and internet use are slowly merging" and suggest ways that the harm resulting from excessive participation in these activities can be minimized.
Adolescents with Gambling Problems: From Research to Treatment. Rina Gupta and Jeffrey L. Derevensky. Journal of Gambling Studies. 16:2/3, 315-342 Fall 2000. This article presents a description of the therapeutic processes and underlying philosophy of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic and illustrates these concepts with a detailed case study.
Gambling Involvement and Drug Use Among Adolescents. Ken C. Winters and Nikki Anderson. Journal of Gambling Studies. 16:2/3, 175-198 Fall 2000. Many studies have found relationships between adolescent gambling and drug use. The authors believe that there is a "striking overlap" between the two behaviors that suggest at least some common causal factors and suggest the development of prevention strategies aimed at these common factors. Among the risk factors listed for both drug abuse and problem gambling are low self-esteem, depression or suicidality, being a victim of abues, poor school performance, a history of delinquency, being male, early drug or gambling experience, parental drug or gambling problem activity, and easy accessibility.
Comparison of Problem-Gambling and Non-Problem-Gambling Youths Seeking Treatment for Marijuana Abuse. Nancy M. Petry and Zeena Tawfik. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2001, 40:11, 1324-1331. A sample of youth entering treatment for marijuana abuse found higher percentage (22%) experiencing gambling problems than is generally measured in the overall adolescent population. Compared to the non-problem gamblers, the problem gamblers showed a greater frequency of drug and alcohol use, more illegal activity, greater psychiatric problems, more sexual activity, and are more likely to have been victims of abuse. The authors recommend that screening for gambling problems should become a routine part of substance abuse treatment programs.
Gambling, Delinquency, and Drug Use During Adolescence: Mutual Influences and Common Risk Factors. Frank Vitaro, Mara Brendgen, Robert Ladouceur, and Richard E. Tremblay. Journal of Gambling Studies Vol 17(3), p171-190, Fall 2001. This longitudinal study of 717 adolescent boys first measured their impulsivity, degree of parental supervision, and delinquency of friends at age 13 and 14, and their gambling behavior, substance abuse, and delinquency at ages 16 and 17. Impulsivity, parental supervision, and deviant friends were all found to be significant predictors of all three problem behaviors, while the problem behaviors were not found to significantly influence each other. The authors conclude that the results support the concept of a ãgeneral problem behavior syndromeä fed by generic risk factors.
Gambling and problematic gambling with money among Norwegian youth (12-18 years) A. Johansson and K.G. Götestam. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry Vol 57(4), p317-321, August 2003. This survey of 3,237 Norwegian youth found a pathological gambling rate of 1.8 percent and a sub-clinical "problem gambling" rate of 3.46 percent. Overall, 18 percent of the sample reported never gambling and another 58 percent reported gambling seldom. The remaining 25 percent gambled weekly. The survey, however, is limited by a response rate of only 45 percent.