Youth gambling: A public health perspective

Abstract

Over the last decade research in the area of youth gambling has led to a better understanding of the risk factors, trajectories and problems associated with this behaviour. At the same time, governments have begun to recognize the importance of youth gambling and have offered to support research and treatment programs. Yet, public health and prevention in the realm of youth gambling has only recently drawn the attention of researchers and health professionals. Early work by Korn and Shaffer (1999) set the groundwork for a public health approach to gambling. This paper attempts to apply health promotion theory to youth gambling and describes a conceptual framework and model. Strategies focus on addressing risk and protective factors through community mobilization, health communication, and policy development. It is anticipated that this paper will provide future directions and serve as a starting point for addressing youth gambling issues from this new perspective.

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