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Problem Gambling in Inner-City Youth

Posted Apr 02 2009 11:41am

A paper published in the March 2009 issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors presents the results of a large study of past year gambling in a sample 1128 youths aged 14 to 18 (54.1% female, 58.0% African American) who were seen at an inner-city emergency department (ED).  Overall, 22.5% of the sample reported past-year gambling. Male youth were more likely to gamble than female youth, and African American youth reported higher rates of past-year gambling than non-African American youth. Significant correlates of gambling included lower academic achievement, being out of school, working more than 20 hours per week, alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use, alcohol problems, severe dating violence, moderate and severe general violence, and carrying a weapon. When examined simultaneously, being male, African American, out of school, working for pay, alcohol and marijuana use, severe general violence, and carrying a weapon all emerged as significant correlates of past-year gambling, largest amount of money gambled, and gambling frequency. In addition, involvement in severe dating violence was associated with frequency and largest amount gambled. The results suggest that gambling is common among youth in the inner city and is associated with several risk behaviors. The authors conclude that inner-city emergency departments may provide a good context for screening and intervention to address multiple risk behaviors.

Click here for the abstract.

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