Adolescent gambling and problem gambling: Does the total consumption model apply?


This study describes the extent and distribution of gambling among Norwegian adolescents. The study assesses whether gambling frequency and expenditures and prevalence of problem gambling are associated both at the individual and aggregate (school) level, and in particular whether the total consumption model applies to gambling behaviour. Data comprised a national representative sample of 11,637 13- to 19-year-old students in 73 schools (response rate 92.3%). The Lie/Bet Questionnaire and an additional DSM-criterion on chasing the losses were applied to assess problem gambling. A majority (78.5%) had gambled during the last year and 3.1% met all three criteria for problem gambling. Gambling frequency and expenditures were much higher among problem gamblers and increased proportionally with the degree of problem gambling. The 6.1% who scored on both Lie/Bet items accounted for 59% of all gambling expenditures on slot machines. Positive and significant correlations between various indicators of problem gambling and the overall amount of gambling at the aggregate (school) level imply that the higher the overall amount of gambling and gambling expenditures are, the higher the prevalence of problem gambling, which indicates that the total consumption model also applies to gambling behaviour among adolescents.

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