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That impulsive, moody preschooler may grow up to be a problem gambler
Date:4/23/2012

ting down or quitting. By 32, only about 4 percent of the participants still gambled at that level.

Among the compulsive gamblers, men were more numerous than women, as were those with low childhood intelligence and socioeconomic status. But under-controlled temperament in toddlerhood remained a significant predictor of disordered gambling in adulthood, even after gender, intelligence, and socioeconomic status were taken into account.

It is important to keep in mind that the number of people who actually end up becoming compulsive gamblers is relatively small. But the findings, said Slutske, are still important given "the ever-increasing number of [gambling] temptations our world presents," such as the opportunities to place bets at home on the Internet at any time of day or night. Some vulnerable individuals may not be well-equipped to handle such temptations.

And the implications of the study may even go beyond gambling. "It fits into a larger story about how self-control in early childhood is related to important life outcomes in adulthood," said Slutske. New programs for boosting self-controleven Sesame Street's segments on the importance of saving money and waiting until later for goodiesmight not only head off a painful future of compulsive gambling but also increase children's chances of academic success, financial security, and personal happiness when they grow up.


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Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

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