Monday, June 2, 2008

About 2.1% of adolescents 14 - 21 have problems with gambling

Reuter's HealthDay reported on May 12,2008, on a study which appears in the June, 2008 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies done by researchers Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo, NY.

The researchers did a phone survey of 2,300 people between the ages of 14 and 21. They found that 2.1% were problem gamblers. There were far more males than female adolescent problem gamblers.
Based on 2000 census numbers there were about 3548 people in Genesee County between 14 and 21, and 2550 in Orleans County. With a 2.1% problem gambling prevalence rate, that would mean that there are 75 young people in Genesee County, and 54 young people in Orleans County with gambling problems.

Here is part of what the Reuter's article says:
An estimated 750,000 American teens and young adults are problem gamblers
according to researchers at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on

Problem gambling is defined as gambling associated with three or more negative consequences, such as gambling more than you intended or stealing money to gamble.

The national telephone survey of almost 2,300 respondents, ages 14 to 21, found that 2.1 percent were problem gamblers, which works out to a nationwide total of about 750,000 young problem gamblers, the researchers said.

They also found that 11 percent of respondents gambled twice a week or more -- considered frequent gambling -- and that 68 percent of respondents said they'd gambled at least once in the past year.

The findings of the survey, conducted from August 2005 through January 2007, are
available online and were expected to be published in the June 2008 issue of the
Journal of Gambling Studies.

"In a society where young people are increasingly exposed to gambling influences, there is cause for concern," principal investigator John W. Welte said in a prepared statement.

"As might be expected, all statistically significant results showed that greater
gambling involvement is associated with aging into an adult status. In fact,
gambling may be associated with the transition into adulthood," said Welte, a
senior research scientist at the Research Institute on Addictions.

The study found that gambling increased with major life changes such as getting a
job, leaving school, living independently from parents, and marriage. Young
people who worked full-time were more likely to gamble, those who weren't in
school were more likely to gamble frequently (twice a week or more), and those
who lived independently were more likely to gamble and to be problem gamblers.

"As far as gender, it seems likely that females' gambling involvement
tends to emerge in adulthood, while male involvement can be high in adolescence.
We found identical problem gambling rates for adult males and young males (4
percent). We found adult females' gambling rates were much higher (3 percent)
than that of young females (less than one-tenth of a percent). In other words,
problem gambling is almost non-existent among female adolescents and young
adults," Welte said.

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