Coping strategies employed by adolescents with gambling problems

Abstract

Background: This study explored the relationship between coping styles, gambling behaviours and substance use amongst adolescents. Method: Five hundred and eighty-seven students, aged 12 to 17, volunteered to participate and completed all scales. Participants completed a gambling screen (DSM-IV-J), coping scale (CISS), and a questionnaire developed to assess types and patterns of gambling behaviours (GAQ). Results: The results suggest that those youths who gamble excessively exhibit coping styles that are more emotion based, avoidant, and distraction-oriented. Conclusions: The results suggest a need to teach high-risk youth more effective active coping strategies in order to minimise their potential for engaging in addictive behaviours. Such efforts should form a substantial part of school-based prevention initiatives.

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