Gambling and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) in a population of French students

Abstract

Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be exacerbated by psychosocial factors. Various studies confirm that the severity of a psychiatric disorder, particularly when it comes to ADHD, is strongly correlated with the amount of use. This study (1) evaluated the association between ADHD and gambling among young students; (2) determined which symptom among ADHD's three symptoms (attention deficit, hyperactivity, or impulsivity) had the strongest association with video game addiction and gambling; and (3) determined the impact of the association between ADHD and video game addiction and gambling on self-esteem and academic performance of students. A total of 720 students (445 males and 274 females) were recruited from eight higher educational institutions of Ile de France. They all completed a battery of questionnaire consisting of Canadian Problem Gambling Index, UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale, Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS), Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) and Rosenberg scales, and socio-demographic data. 13.33 % of the participants had symptoms of ADHD during childhood (WURS scale score) and 40.41 % of them have symptoms of ADHD in adulthood (ASRS score). Finally, among the participants, 37.5 % had excessive gambling addiction, have positive results on WURS and ASRS scales, thus having a probable ADHD, whereas 14.55 % had no gambling addiction. The results demonstrated that adult ADHD was associated with gambling addiction. Significant associations were observed between ADHD and impulsivity, academic difficulties and gambling addiction. The association between ADHD and gambling seems to be common among vulnerable populations such as adolescents and could be related to variables such as self-esteem, which appears to potentially worsen the prognosis. Further research on this relationship is needed to optimize prevention strategies and effective treatment.

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