The acquisition, development and maintenance of lottery and scratchcard gambling in adolescence

Abstract

The U.K. National Lottery and instant scratchcards are now well established yet there is still little empirical research on the players. This study was an exploratory investigation of the psychosocial effects of these forms of gambling among adolescents (n=1195; aged 11- to 15-years-old). Using a questionnaire, it was shown that large numbers of adolescents were taking part in these activities. There was a significant link between parental and child gambling with most lottery tickets and scratchcards being bought for the adolescents by their parents. Results showed that many adolescents thought they would win lots of money on these activities and that these activities were in general not perceived to be forms of gambling. Six per cent of adolescents fulfiled the DSM-IV-J criteria for pathological gambling, the majority of which were males.

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