The primary aim of the present study was to examine the association between immigrant generation, family sociodemographic characteristics, and problem gambling severity in a large-scale nationally representative sample of Italian youth.
Data from the 2013–2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Survey were used for cross-sectional analyses of adolescent problem gambling. Self-administered questionnaires were completed by a representative sample of 20,791 15-year-old students. Respondents' problem gambling severity, immigrant status, family characteristics (family structure, family affluence, perceived family support) and socio-demographic characteristics were individually assessed.
Rates of adolescent at-risk/problem gambling were twice as high among first generation immigrants than non-immigrant students; the odds of being at-risk/problem gamblers were higher among first-generation immigrants than adolescents of other immigrant generations or non-immigrant. Not living with two biological or adoptive parents appears to be a factor that increases the risk of becoming a problem gambler in first generation immigrants.
Immigrant status and family characteristics may play a key role in contributing to adolescent problem gambling.