Updates of the prevalence of problem gambling in Romanian teenagers

Abstract

The aim of this study was to find out what is the prevalence of pathological in Romanian teenagers. We questioned one thousand thirty-two teenagers in Cluj-Napoca and Harghita counties. Participants completed a questionnaire with 40 items including gamblers anonymous twenty questions. The sample included teenagers aged 11–19 years; 65.57% were male and 34.43% were female. The subjects were divided into three groups: non-gambling/recreational gambling or occasional gambling (0–1 positive answers —Level 1)—753 subjects (72.96%) [316 females and 437 males]; problem gambling (2–6 points—Level 2)—243 subjects (23.54%) [43 females and 200 males]; pathological gambling (above 7 points—Level 3)—36 subjects (3.48%) [3 females and 33 males]. The mean age of pathological gamblers was 16.48 years. Gender differences were as expected, males engaging in pathological gambling (91.66% from pathological gamblers) more than females did (8.33% from pathological gamblers). Data revealed that the most encountered games practiced weekly were sport bets and slot machines in the case of 36.11% of the pathological gamblers; lotto, internet casino and pool bets each with 25%, followed by roulette and black-jack with 22.22%.From those who reported practicing gambling at a pathological level 66.66% engaged in alcohol consumption, 13.88% illicit drug use and 19.44% licit drugs. Just 16.66% smoke cigarettes. Data revealed higher rates of prevalence in Romanian teenagers than in other Central and Eastern European countries. A prevalence study at a national level should be designed.

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