Personal, social and environmental risk factors of problematic gambling among high school adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Abstract

Understanding risk factors of problematic gambling is prerequisite to effective intervention design to alleviate the negative consequences of gambling. This study explored the personal, social and environmental risk factors of problematic gambling in four high schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, among students (N = 422) ranging from 12 to 21 years of age. Results from the cross-sectional survey showed that personal feelings (e.g., self-esteem, false perceptions about winning, drug abuse), social factors (e.g., peer influence, parental gambling), and environmental factors (e.g., accessibility of gambling venues, advertisements) were significant correlates of problematic gambling. The study also revealed that men were more at risk for severe problematic gambling than females. Among the identified types of gambling activities, the most prevalent ones were playing cards followed by flipping coin and pool gambling while internet gambling was among the least reported gambling activities. By identifying personal, social and environmental correlates of risky gambling activities this study provides evidence-based information for the systematic design and evaluation of educational interventions to prevent problematic gambling in young people.

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