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Estimated 750,000 problem gamblers among America's youth
Date:5/6/2008

g for our national study has a 95 percent confidence level, making it unlikely that we found a lower problem gambling rate by chance.

Welte is a senior research scientist at RIA and a national expert in the epidemiology of substance abuse and gambling. His co-investigator on the study is Grace M. Barnes, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at RIA and a national expert in substance use pertaining to adolescents, parenting and families.

As might be expected, all statistically significant results showed that greater gambling involvement is associated with aging into an adult status, Welte stated. In fact, gambling may be associated with the transition into adulthood.

The RIA researchers examined pivotal times of life for youth (employment, student status, living independently from parents, and marriage) and found gambling increased with each major life change. Those who worked full-time were more likely to gamble, those who were not students 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 (three or more negative consequences during the past year).

We compared problem gambling rates among youth with problem gambling rates among adults from our national study of U.S. adults in 2000, Welte said. 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.

Black youth were less likely to have gambled than white youth; but if they gambled, it was likely to be more frequent (30 percent vs. 12 percent respe
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Contact: Kathleen Weaver
weaver@ria.buffalo.edu
716-887-2585
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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