Beyond drugs and alcohol: Including gambling in our high-risk behavior framework

Abstract

Studies throughout North America have suggested that more adolescents are gambling today than in the past. Over the past decade, gambling has become a popular form of entertainment and part of mainstream society. With the increase in gambling availability has come a rise in not only the number of youth who participate in gambling, but also the number who exhibit serious gambling problems. There is growing concern that adolescents and young adults are the highest risk group for problem gambling. The National Research Council, in its critical review of pathological gambling, indicated that the prevalence of problem gambling among adolescents is consistently higher than among adults, despite differences in measurement. Yet, efforts to prevent and treat problems among this population have only recently emerged as an important adolescent health issue. The present article reviews the risk factors, mental health correlates and warning signs of adolescent gambling problems, with the aim of raising awareness among health professionals working with youth of the need to address this issue within their practices.

Problem with this document? Please report it to us.