The effect of extended family gambling behavior and family functioning on African American adolescent gambling

Abstract

The present study investigated the possible mediational role of family functioning and extended family gambling on African American adolescent gambling behavior. A total of 634 African American students (average age=15.8 years, SD = 1.4) were recruited from three urban public high schools. Rates of both at-risk (17%) and problem gambling (12.1%) were elevated. The Barron and Kenny (1986) mediational model was used for all analyses. Results revealed high, total South Oaks Gambling Screen- Revised for Adolescent (SOGS-RA) scores and increased gambling frequency for youth reporting having a extended family member who gambles. The family's ability to show appropriate emotional responses (Affective Response) was positively related, while their inability to manage behavior (Behavior Control) was negatively related to extended family gambling behavior. An increased ability to solve problems in the home (Problem Solving) and a decrease in behavioral control were significant predictors of problematic gambling status, while high levels of problem solving and low levels of affective response were related to gambling frequency. Despite the direct effects found, the Sobel test (1982) determined no significant mediating effect of the relation between extended family gambling behavior and adolescent gambling behavior across the levels of family functioning. The present results indicate that familial relationships including those that extend to additional family members, are important when considering the gambling behavior of African American adolescents. This study represents an ongoing effort to understand the role of familial factors in the gambling behavior of African American adolescents.

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