Risk, compensatory, protective, and vulnerability factors related to youth gambling problems

Abstract

This study explores the additive (i.e., risk or compensatory) or moderating (i.e., protective or exacerbating) role of individual resources (social bonding, personal competence, and social competence) and environmental risk (family, peers, and neighborhood) in regard to the association between established personal risk attributes (i.e., impulsivity, anxiety) and youth gambling problems. Using a cross-sectional design, regression analyses indicated that among a sample of mostly first-generation immigrant adolescents from low-income homes (N = 1,055; M = 15.03; SD = 1.64), social bonding was associated with a decrease in gambling problems (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15, p < .01) while peer and neighborhood risk were associated with an increase in gambling problems (OR = 2.24, p = .01 and OR = 2.31, p = .01, respectively), net of personal risk attributes. In terms of protective processes, no putative moderating effect was found for composite individual resources. The findings are discussed with respect to the roles of compensatory, risk, and protective processes.

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