Gambling and pathological gambling in adolescents

Abstract

A survey of U.K. secondary school children (aged 11–16 years) was undertaken to enquire into the prevalence of adolescent gambling and pathological gambling on fruit machines, and related behaviours. Sixty-two percent of the children gambled on fruit machines, 17.3% at least weekly and 5.7% pathologically. Pathological fruit machine gambling was correlated with gambling for money on other games, cigarette and alcohol use, video playing, parental gambling, playing alone and an early start (8 years or younger). It was not correlated with age, gender or religion, and only weakly with parental occupation. The implications of the findings for future research and social policy are discussed.

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