The social determinants of youth gambling in South Australian adolescents.

Abstract

Recent Australian studies (Moore, S.M., and Ohtsuka, K. (1997). Journal of Gambling Studies, 13, 207-236) have revealed a strong youth interest in gambling in Australia, as reflected in current participation levels, future intentions and attitudes. Implicit in much of this attitudinal research is that youth gambling is strongly influenced by the familial, social and cultural norms to which young people are exposed. In this paper, we investigate the hypothesis that gambling can be understood in terms of variations in economic socialization, namely, the way in which children learn about money, risk, and saving. A school survey of 505 adolescents (aged 15-17 years) showed that over 60% of adolescents were gambling annually and that 3.5% scored in the problematic range on the DSM-IV-J (Fisher, S.E. (1999). Addiction Research, 7, 509-538). More frequent gambling was associated with parental and peer gambling and pro-gambling attitudes, but unrelated to adolescents' attitudes towards economic concepts.

Nevertheless, in partial support of the hypotheses, adolescents whose parents taught them about keeping to a budget, saving money, and maintaining their finances were less likely to express an interest in future gambling.

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